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is anyone interested in an alchohol-free / addiction thread?

(1000 Posts)
youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 12:30:55

My name is youretoastmildred, and I am an alcoholic.

I am 42 days alcohol free.
have been a problem drinker for a long time and have often convinced myself that moderate drinking will be fine. It never stays moderate.
In this 42 days there have been certain key people that I have not had to see. I have 2 events coming up with them that will be massive triggers and I am looking for support (and very very willing to offer what support I can to anyone else)

I have lurked on Brave Babes and it seems to be a thread of successfully moderate drinkers, and alcoholics who can't / don't actually stop. (The poster who started those threads by stopping completely isn't there: I also remember some 12 step nondrinkers from the early days who don't seem to be there any more. There are a lot of posts by people enumerating what they are having or will have and whether or not this is ok but I don't see much actual NOT DRINKING EVER which is what I need to do)

By contrast, the AA meeting that I attend, while it will always have a couple of people back after a relapse, is mostly packed with people with months and years sober.

Is anyone interested in an actual not-drinking or beating other addictions thread? I am NOT saying I am not interested in talking to those who relapse. I am saying that I DO want to talk to people who aim to stop drinking.

any takers?

Clargo55 Mon 28-Oct-13 12:38:07

Hi OP
I have never been addicted but I am alcohol free. My mother is a alcoholic and narcissistic. Not really what you are looking for, but did not want to leave you unanswered.

I will stay around to support you until others arrive if you like.
When are your events coming up?
Congrats on the 42days thanks

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 12:43:57

Thanks Clargo. There are things this weekend, and the one two weeks after that. So it's not like there is a crowd of people on my doorstep right now with champagne bottles!

Clargo55 Mon 28-Oct-13 12:46:04

Do you have any one close to you for support?
Hope it goes well at the weekend.

Sorry I am not much help, but will be bumping this thread for you smile

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 12:46:41

I'm a brave babe on/off er grin. I so badly want to be alochol free, but I will not 'do' AA or 12 step stuff - I had a terrible and damaging experience at AA so won;t go back. Totally respect people who choose it and it works for of course. Just sitting here today in that hideous post binge from hell depression. Can go weeks, months without then royally mess it up. Can't do 'moderate' either, this self loathing is awful. I am here!

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 12:47:57

Hi MrMeanour! Welcome!

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 12:54:54

smile what do we do now? grin

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 13:10:05

I don't know... what would you like to do? smile

I am sorry to hear you had bad times at AA.

so - you are now post-binge. What are your goals? what have you got planned for the day?
what was the trigger for the binge? (if any)
how long were you alcohol free before?

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 13:38:37

well, the longest time was 8 months, then we went on holiday and I automatically started - virtually as we got off the plane grin This was about 5 years ago. Since then, I've done anything from three days to four months, At the moment, I seem to be doing one month drinking, one month not - which is bloody ridiculous! Today I have basically stayed in bed being depressed - really positive hmm - off work which is not good sad I mean to 'start again' but I always do. All sorts of triggers at the moment - don't want to out myself but under vast amounts of pressure, which isn't likely to stop for a while. I know I just have to stop and I have to mean it.

Congratulations OP- 42 days is great. I hope you're proud of yourself!

My boyfriend is an alcoholic. He's doing really well and not had any since last Saturday, so over a week. He's been relying on other crutches to get through the withdrawal but anything's better than him passing out night after night. Don't want to write an essay because I feel all talked out on the issue. My mum's given me some really thoughtful support which has been so nice, but just makes me feel worse for my boyfriend because his parents are so shit let alone in comparison and don't even know what he's going through. He was drinking partly because he has chonic insomnia- but a week without anything and he's had two really good nights and been buzzing the morning after because he finally had some good sleep. OTOH like I mentioned, the withdrawal's been a bastard. How was it for you?
I hope this thread takes off because I think it could be v. useful, thanks for starting it.

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 14:42:44

The hardest thing is getting back into good sleep patterns, once you do, it feels great though. Sounds like your dp is doing really well. I aim for 3 weeks when I stop and then i feel I'm 'getting there'. Just got to carry on!

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 15:23:21

Thanks quirrel-quarrel. best of luck to your bf. I hope getting some wellbeing from sleep will act as a powerful motivator

MeMeanour, don't worry about not being at work. It is an illness, you know. someone I know suggested I take a sick day when I was moaning about all the things I don't have time to do at home. Lots of people do throw sickies - but you are actually sick!

CurseOfCurves89 Mon 28-Oct-13 15:30:26

Hi there, congrats on your 42 days smile
I'm not an alcoholic, But my boyfriend is and I'm really struggling to help him, he still thinks that having the occasional drink won't do him any harm, not realising it's leading him back down that path again.
I just wanted to say well done, and wish you the best of luck and strength to keep kicking its arse thanks

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 15:46:28

Thank you. I am feeling better (slowly! you know what it's like!) The 'occasional' drink is the bloody touchpaper though. It doesn't exist in people like us. That is what I have to remember. I remember it for a while and then, feeling well and healthy after a time of sobriety, completely forget and here I am again sad It's just horrible. Bloody awful. I may be posting a lot - I hope that's ok. I have to get through the next few days at the very least.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 15:49:01

want to write more about this later by the way because I feel that one of the key balancing acts for me in my struggle with alcohol (and so many things) is finding the right balance between taking responsibility and crippling, pointless shame and guilt

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 15:50:20

x-posted
thanks curse of curves!

& Mr, post as much as you like. I post a lot too and will be maybe unloading a lot on here

maras2 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:00:01

Good luck with sobriety quest,Mildred.You've done well over the last couple of months.How can I say this without sounding rude? < deep breath > You would have a better chance of obtaining your ultimate goal if you got rid of your judgemental,unkind,and frankly cocklodger of a partner.I followed your thread at the begining of the month and thought that he sounded awful.Anyway best of luck.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 16:05:18

maras2, thanks, but I do have to stand up for dp here. He is certainly not a cocklodger (we bring in about the same amount of money once you adjust for relative transport costs) and does every weekday breakfast time and teatime with the dcs when I am not there. so he is not a cocklodger, whatever else he may be - he is a vitally important worker in the running of this family.

I don't think he is unkind either. Although like everyone, he can be unkind.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 16:30:39

I'm with you mildred.

My problem has been the effect of alcohol as being a sort of low level liquid cosh. I hardly ever drink to excess these days, but it's more a fairly constant habit of 'feeding' an apparent demand. It's been like this for quite a while and means I am not exactly operating optimally the following day. So for example last night I had a friend round and I drank 4 of those Cidre bottles from Stella. Not a lot but it's just debilitating, to a point it could go v badly. I exercise a lot so tell myself that's fine, when it really isn't. I counted up last weeks total units and it concerned me.

I think I'm too light-weight for the Bus and I get what you mean about it being very 'mixed' and am not wishing to end up just talking about how much I have consumed, largely, though it is quite inspirational to others and Mouse does a job deserving of awards. One quote stood out: "No-one ever wakes up regretting not having drunk the night before".

I'd like to kick it totally. Am I in 'mildred's gang'?

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 16:38:47

You're in the gang for sure grin what shall we call ourselves??

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 16:58:06

Hi Lovedaysthename,
Welcome!

Let's try not to have a twee name like the antenatal threads, or the Brave Babes, I'd like to keep this pretty dry (ha ha no pun intended) and not all Purple Ronnie and longwinded rhyming titles, if poss

Not that jokes aren't allowed! I love 'em. I just don't like the twee end of mn-quiche-dom, it isn't really my style (and most of the mn bits that I tend to hang out on aren't like that at all)

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 17:00:29

agree re the tweedom - something 'hard' and plain but not scary.

In fact reading back I realise I have done what many/all drinkers do. Under-report. Will have a cogitate on that.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 17:02:32

oh and 'Loveday' will do!

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 17:42:25

I'll have a think too. grin

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 17:44:22

OK. Here is my alcohol story (no one is obliged to read it, of course)

Family background: middle-class boozy. No alcohol consumed on weeknights; wine or beer as a treat for my parents at weekends. Always a big part of family gatherings, for them. I never saw my parents stumbling or slurring or obviously hungover, but I often saw them laughing loudly and being mildly hilarious.
Dad a bit of a wine connoisseur.
I remember as a child my father moaning about a friend who had cut back and refused to taste every wine, and put his hand over the glass when one was offered. It was felt that he wasn't playing the game. I don't know why I remembered this, but it stayed with me.

I had a lot of emotional problems as a child. No one was interested. I was not badly treated but pretty badly let down, in some ways.

I used to be allowed small sips of wine from, probably, 14. Alcohol was not hidden. Had I wanted to I could have drunk spirits from the cabinet any time. It never occurred to me to drink more than I was given. But I did absolutely love it.

I think I was 15 the first time I bought alcohol (only now does it occur to me that I could have stolen it, not bought it. Never crossed my mind.) I was deeply pissed off. It was a really hard time for me but I don't remember the particular trigger. I remember being very angry and very very emotionally uncomfortable. I bought 2 cans of guinness, I do not remember whether I went out to get them, it is more likely I got them on my way home from school, I can't remember how premeditated it was but I do remember being petrified with nerves at buying it and flooded with relief that I got away with it. (Was I in school uniform? How did that work?) I sat on the floor in my favourite corner in the sun in my bedroom and drank them both, out of the can, with my arm holding the can behind the bookcase to my right so that only when I quickly swigged was it in view, in case anyone walked in (people usually knocked, then walked in). I felt calm and peaceful and warm and serene. Not falling about drunk, remotely, but much much better. I stashed the empty cans behind the bookcase and cleaned my teeth and went downstairs for dinner.

I did that again. Not that often, but I knew that the option was there.

My friends and I started to drink occasionally. At first I didn't drink any more than anyone else. I never wanted to be the drunk girl at the party. I enjoyed it but I was cautious.
One night, my 3 best girl friends (it was an incredible revelation to me to have friends and I was intensely, insanely happy to have some affection and company in my life) came over to have dinner and sleep over and my mum gave us a bottle of cider. We had arranged at least another big bottle that she didn't know about. We got very silly and affectionate and fell asleep in one big double bed and it was the happiest night of my life. Booze was a big part of it. We were happy and uninhibited and I had never felt so loved, so understood, so accepted - at the centre of something, not out in the cold.

I am going to post this now and write more later.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 17:45:54

Some first thoughts:

Not Looking Back, We're Not Going That Way.
The Glass Half Empty Friends (and that's the way it stays.)
The Club with no Bar.
More Life, No Alcohol
More Perfect Days To Come ( nod to Lou Reed today)
Staying OFF the Slippery Slope
Thanks, but I don't drink anymore.
Committing to ourselves and each other – Join Us.

Still thinking about reporting. I have never spoke/typed about this before.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 18:16:50

No really drink history as an early teenager, and parents were pretty well absent, but then got a temp job v well paid before uni, as did a friend and we became pubbers. Remember drinking massively when 16 at a family do and waking up as it was getting dark the following day, and thinking this was very adult. Got into lots of spats and knew booze was affecting me badly but thought it was manageable..

Uni was massively boozy, lager, Guiness, and soon after lived with friends who were massive wine drinkers and that suited me at the time. They also adored me and I could do no wrong, even when I did, and so I was given permission to continue unbridled.
I loved my work and that kept me on the right side of careful, but still drinking way too much regularly - often an after work thing.

Latterly it's been with a few friends, do's and often on my own, which never seemed a problem - I'd drink a bottle of wine whilst doing something useful so it was 'okay'. I used to have a massive tolerance for booze and would be the soberest around, and friends still expect that, but it isn't the same. I hate waking up groggy and have come to despise myself for it. I'm not 18 anymore and I have loved ones who rely on me.

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 18:31:34

It seems that we all have similar kind of experiences, no real family history - as in witnessing it at least - my father was a huge drinker and died due to alcohol when I was very small. I had a rubbish childhood - for different reasons and discovered alcohol at 16. That Was It! Oh my, what a wonderful invention!!! It just got worse and worse, until I became a single mother in my twenties and drank every day, all day - it was normal!! Long years since then and I still struggle. I know I can't stop when i start and it has got to a point where I absolutely have to. My eldest child is now in her twenties and panics if i drink, my two youngest haven't been anywhere near as affected but have also seen things they shouldn't have, and my wonderful dh is baffled! That's the past. here comes the future grin

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 18:32:34

mildred - that bit about being in bed with your friends was utterly convincing. With my live in friends we'd be out separately and return to the house, or stay in and drink copious amounts of expensive red wine, and eventually tell each other exactly how much we loved each other and why. To be valued and loved, even if only vocalised in booze was just fabulous at the time.

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 18:36:59

I have bpd and am 17 days post drink.

That was really scary to type.

I also had a bad experience at AA. But I'm going on as best as I can, one day at a time.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 18:38:46

bi-polar disorder weegie?

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 18:40:55

No, borderline personality disorder. One of the most prominent symptoms is addictive behaviour.mi don't mention it on here much due to some huge misunderstandings, but somehow today I just did!

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 18:45:59

Well done you! You are not alone. My very best friend who I see most days has a borderline pd. He is a marvelous person, but yes drinks binge wise. In fact he was the one here last night.

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 18:53:27

Yes, well done smile I have been diagnosed with clinical depression - totally made worse by drinking copiously - so of course i do grin sensible.. . Also been taking fairly heavy duty ad's for several years...which shouldn't be drunk with - sometimes I just wonder exactly what sort of completely self destructive fool I am grin

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 19:59:09

I suspect there are a fair few self-destructive fools on here. I'm certainly one. tied to end up drinking after a good day - nothing like sabotaging my success to reinforce my own idea of how crap I think I am!

myfriendbill Mon 28-Oct-13 20:06:00

5 months sober.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 20:09:07

I'm surprised there aren't more takers, even after only a few hours.

Respect myfriendbill. Any pointers for the longevity please? I've not drunk for one day possibly last week. For two days? Some time last month. 3 days consecutively? I really can't recall.

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 20:59:34

When I did my 8 months, it certainly helped that I was working with chronic alcoholics at the time! I was exhausted after a days work and saw the terrifying reality close up. Sadly, it didn't stop me returning to it sad More recently, when i've done two, three, four months, I just concentrate on how good i feel in the mornings and that it will get better and better - need to stop sabotaging that.

myfriendbill Mon 28-Oct-13 21:35:30

Support from family and friends and AA. It really does seem to be the only thing that works.

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 21:37:37

Hello all, I don't know if I'll post that often but I thought I'd pop past and share my experience. I'll be 3 years sober and clean this week and I attend a mixture of aa and ca meetings.
What's worked for me is the usual 12 step stuff
I go to meetings
I'm in a group
I have a sponsor
And I try to live my life along spiritual principles.

I used to be very isolated, disconnected from myself and everyone else, find being me unbearable, was utterly confused by why I kept ending up in the same shitty place again and again and thought that really life was bad and it would only get worse and deep down I must be an awful person.

It's not like that today as the old saying goes. I can cope with life and mainly enjoy it. I like myself. I'm not obsessed by drinking or using (alcohol was my drug of choice but it has to be abstinence from everything for me, otherwise it's just shifting the same problem onto something else).

When I drank and/or used I could never predict what would happen or control how much I had and any time I did stop for a period of time I would forget how bad things had been and start again. That hasn't happened for a while and I genuinely don't have the obsession to drink, it's gone from me. I know there is nothing there for me anymore.

My life is unrecognisable. It is so much better than I thought it could be, I'm no longer hopeless and miserable and I'm no longer trapped in that repetitive negative cycle of total SHITENESS. And frankly - hoooooorah for that grin

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 21:37:44

That's awesome, bill!

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 21:51:44

Hello myfriendbill, thanks for posting

Hello enidcoleslaw. do you mind me asking what CA is?

Weegiemum, well done for saying that and thanks so much for sharing. my dp thinks I have bpd, I am not sure but I read a book about it and recognise a lot of myself in it (not 5 out of 9 traits, but the ones I have, intensely). For me, if you can unpick this, it was the mental / emotional problems before the booze, not the other way around, as some people say it is (some people have transformed lives the second they get over withdrawal and realise that they don't have to drink again; one of the big things I have to cope with is how shit I still am when not directly under the influence of alcohol)

BPD is so stigmatised. I read a thread about it today where a therapist says she prefers to call it emotional dysregulation. Some of the other posters conflated BPD and abusiveness in a really upsetting way. It's hard. I know I am not perfect, lord knows I am not perfect, but I am never abusive in the sense in which it is primarily used on the relationships board - a person who deliberately and knowingly manipulates other for their own ends and to hurt them.

"invalidating environment" - I did have that although I was never abused. I was belittled and teased in a very confusing way (it was absolutely fine to do and say anything to me, and it was funny; if I tried to join in and do it back it was cheeky and naughty or considered even violent); I was bullied and often very lonely; my emotions, preferences, boundaries, were never acknowledged (I know this is tiny violin shit); I felt painfully ashamed and guilty all the time because of the my Catholic upbringing and my general sense of not being good enough for company or to have people in my life. Many people have all that and come through fine, but I had a proneness to emotional-overdoing -t in the first place, I think, and it interacted with my ordinary but not very sensitive family background to make me quite confused, often despairing, and often unable to take reasonable steps to acknowledge my feelings and work towards well being.

... which.... I now have to do now.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 21:52:52

Mr, are you still up? How are you coping with Day 1 now?

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:05:53

CA is cocaine anonymous but it's actually not a drug specific fellowship despite the name - it's cocaine and all other mind altering substances. They use the big book of aa and the twelve step programme. It just means for me that I have a place I can talk about my whole experience which did involve other drugs apart from alcohol at times. I initially stopped drinking in aa but then picked up diazepam and told myself that because I wasn't drinking I was sober and ok but using another drug just led me back to my drug of choice - booze - in the end so ca is a really great fellowship for me.

My take on pre-existing or co-existing mental health stuff is that until I could stay abstinent it was impossible for me to unpick any of that stuff and to actually see clearly what I was left with or do anything to deal with it.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 22:07:30

Really interesting Enid, thanks. I haven't been in the places you have been I don't think, but do recognise the onward and upward part - many years ago I was full of beans and hardly ever drinking and feeling in control. The habit though began to dig deep and I just accommodated for it, as if it was a script I would play.
and yes mildred, I have recognised in the past that booze has negated feelings and focused life away from me and my part to play in it, as if accepting that I am not entitled to feelings and so the loss of them via booze wasn't a real loss at all. Again, I've thought that but never said it or written it before.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 22:08:18

Mr are you still with us?

MrMeanour Mon 28-Oct-13 22:14:47

Hi there grin Just been cheering myself up with 999 - What's your emergency?! I love things like that smile Feeling a lot better now. Was just getting into bed muttering to myself 'day bloody 1 again...here we go'. Will take each day as it comes..

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:14:56

Lovedays:

"negated feelings and focused life away from me and my part to play in it, as if accepting that I am not entitled to feelings and so the loss of them via booze wasn't a real loss at all. "

this is really interesting... can you say more about this?

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:15:44

Hi Mr, well done. Day 1 down, uphill from here. Sleep well.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:16:46

Enid, thanks for explaining about AC

How do you get a sponsor? I have been going to a weekly meeting but no one has approached me about ... how to do things

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:17:29

I probably haven't been in the exact places you've been either loveday, but I'm not sure it really matters.

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:22:19

You get a sponsor by having a look about at meetings, seeing if there is someone you've heard sharing whose sobriety seems attractive - they look like they are coping with life and even enjoying it too (that's important to me anyway!) and then you ask them if they could sponsor you. They would need to have been through the programme (the twelve steps outlined in the book) themselves and hopefully if they have time they'll be able to help you to go through the programme too. Women for women, men for men tends to be the suggestion.

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 22:22:22

Thanks for understanding about bpd - very few people know I have it, my health care team, my dh, my best friend. Very few else.

For me, drinking is something I do in order to stop the pain of being me - me, the person with bpd, all the ghastly things I think about myself every day. I'm working very hard on learning to love myself, on self-soothing and other tricks. My bpd has severe aspects - my splitting (everything is either perfect or evil) and dissociation (I feel out of body, not really "me") are both troublesome.

But it's after 10pm so I can't buy (does anyone else get that sense of relief at the close of licensing hours?) so now that's 18 days!! Next struggle for me is my brother getting married on Thursday. It would cause hmm with my family if I don't at least drink the champagne at the toasts! but otherwise I plan not to drink at all.

The biggest causative factor for my bpd is my mum leaving. I was 12, she left with my dad's "best friend". I no longer have contact with my mum. My sister does, and because of this, my sister chooses not to have contact/speak to me. So I'm thinking it'll be a hard day.

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:27:02

I don't have bpd weegiemum but I totally identify with drinking being the thing I do to stop the pain of being me.

I always felt like some kind of weird, uncomfortable alien. When I was a teenager I felt SO self conscious and ugly and awkward and I can remember one of the first times I got drunk looking in the mirror and the world was all soft focus and I felt ok, which wasn't at all usual for me. Then I chased that feeling for years and years despite the pain it was soon causing. I kept looking for that relief from the pain of being me even after it had stopped working.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:29:17

Well done Weegie on 18 days!

I am sorry to hear about the pain of bpd and about your mum leaving.

Listen, I know I don't know you and your family, but honestly it is completely fine not to drink the toasts. It really is. I find it a little sad that you say that you have to, just after you say that you are trying to learn to love yourself. there really is a tension there. you are allowed to draw your own boundaries, in self love.

Are you looking forward to the wedding at all? Or is it only a thing to be got through? I think you need different mental strategies for each.

My family (my birth family, not my own dp and dcs) are the biggest booze trigger for me, and it is them I am worrying about on the weekends of the 3rd and the 16th. In fact, the latter is a big family party of the old school type and it will look very bad for me not to drink. Somehow I have to find a way not to care about this. Easier said than done. But I do feel in principle that it is fine to do this if we need to. Fine for you, fine for me.

Maybe some of you wise people will help me make some plans towards these events over the next few days and weeks?

Enid, thanks for explaining. I would definitely choose a woman as a sponsor... in fact if I could have free choice I think I would choose a woman with children (not that it is that simple, I am sure)

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:30:55

Enid, so well-described

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 22:31:33

I was the 'golden child', of four. The brightest, and delivered. Something devastating happened, and I was sort of ignored as if I would be okay in it all. I was young and got used to the idea of others seeing I had no 'emotional needs'.
Fast forward to adulthood and the lesson was ground in. I'd see that I was seeing life through a semi-opaque mirror, like a bathroom mirror. Sometimes I'd break it but that was costly. Much easier to just ignore it via the effects of drinking because 1. it was sociable and 2. the real damage had already been done and booze wasn't going to make it worse, and even alcohol would release the loving emotions that I had defered, hence the joy of living with my friends who just saw me for who I was unconditionally, as well as being a good drinking sort.
Well this isn;t easy. And a bit jumbled.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:32:52

Right I am going to go to bed now.

I have really enjoyed meeting you all and look forward to talking more soon. I am sorry if I go on and on too much. I find it hard to talk irl but I think the sharing aspect of AA is very special and I hope that I can be allowed to use this thread for that (even if nobody reads that). and of course I would love it if others did similar.

Lurkers, if any, we would all love to hear from you.

Well done to all who have had an alcohol free day

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:34:30

I picked a woman with children because it felt important that she got that experience. The pain of being a mother and an alcoholic was huge for me - I thought having a child would fix me and I wouldn't be like that anymore but I was and now I just had another layer of horror at myself - now I was a shit mum as well as a shit daughter, friend etc. it's also handy to have someone to talk things through with who gets how bloody stressful having (much loved yet exasperating!) children.

I agree about the toasts by the way. You could always say it's an antibiotics thing if that's more comfortable. There's always a way round stuff like that.

I know for me that if I pick up the first drink then all bets are off.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:37:56

Thanks Lovedays for that post
Enid, yep the mother thing is key

good night all

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:39:06

It sounds a bit like a struggle to connect loveday? I was always searching for connection too. To be really seen, to really show myself but it never felt quite real.

It also seems it might be quite hard to ask for help if you are used to being seen as having no emotional needs? But quite safe in a way too because if you're not asking no one can let you down.

Weegiemum Mon 28-Oct-13 22:42:12

I suppose I think I have to because I don't want to worry my dad. I'm really looking forward to seeing my wee brother married! My dd1 (she's 13) is doing a reading at the ceremony. It's going to be great, my brothers fiancée is fabulous and I get to see my dad and Stepmum which right now is bittersweet as she just got diagnosed with breast cancer sad

My family don't take mental health issues seriously, they don't get it (I had a few days in hospital with PND and they really didn't get that!). So I try to play along.

Dh has said he'll go to the bar and get me appletiser in a champagne glass - I luffs him so much!!

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 22:49:24

Enid - yes but it's too complicated to express well by typing it, as I am sure you will understand? But yes, not asking means you are safe and there isn't the disappointment.

I've had the two bottles left from last night. My friend is calling round tomorrow night to do a minor job in the house. He'll reasonably expect a wee tipple as we go. Day 1 means that isn;t going to happen. This will mean nothing until at least Day 4.
Thanks to all, esp mildred for kicking this off.

Enidcoleslaw Mon 28-Oct-13 22:49:25

That sounds like a great way round it WM. So good you can rely on your dh to support you in it too.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:53:43

I can't help it, I am going to write more

About the family party: if my mother knew that someone else was worrying this much about something to do with her, that was supposed to be lovely and fun, she would be appalled. She would certainly not expect anyone to drink if it would be bad for them. She would be as easygoing and as warm as she could.

but this is me, so it is vitally important that I do what is expected. she will never know that this is hard or dangerous for me, because she can never know that anything is hard or dangerous for me, or that anything is other than fine and dandy.

So what we have is a situation where I am worrying about this because the alternative is to admit that something is wrong, and feel so terribly impossible and guilty about that. that will never happen

My mother is like a person who (like me, who does this all the time, and I am interested in the word "baggage" because baggage in the literal and metaphorical senses is something I have huge issues with - I am very very slow to let go and recover, AND I always have FAR TOO MUCH CRAP in my ACTUAL bag) - who says "the priority for this journey is to relax and have fun and make things easy so I am going to pack very, very light. Bring nearly nothing. just some spare pants and a jumper." Ok that would be fine. but now it is "And what if I get invited out - must have some decent shoes" and "what if it pours with rain I must have a full chnage of clothes" and "well I need to bring a jacket if I am bringing those trousers" and so it goes on. In the end you have 3 huge bags and are totally miserable and laden down with them and it is NOT because you consciously abandoned the top priority - to relax and have fun. It is because you mistakenly believed you could do it all - you could be relaxed AND prepared for every eventuality AND always correct. And something had to give, and it was the one you were telling everyone, including yourself, was the top priority

My mother wrote me some heartfelt letters (which I found unbearable, and wrote to tell her this, and in return got ANOTHER ONE) when I was pregnant and unmarried about how terrible this was and how sad it made her. One of the sentences which blew my mind was "all I ever wanted for you was for you to be healthy and happy". I cannot remember anything being about me being healthy or happy when I was growing up. I can remember a lot of stuff about me not embarrassing her, not getting in her way, doing well at school, behaving correctly etc, which I suppose she honestly believed was just "extra". But I was suicidal a lot of the time that she was bothered about my O levels and my manners. It was not happy or healthy for me to be suicidal.

Anyway in the same vein here I am agonising about how I am going to manage not to have a drink at her party. If you asked her "would you like Mildred to do something, for appearances, and for your sake, that will make her very ill?" she would say "of course not!" and be appalled. But she just doesn't see it. She thinks I can be happy, and healthy, AND have a little drink, and be jolly, and have perfect manners, and wear the right things, which are just exactly sexy enough, and be confident, but not bumptious, and elegant, but self deprecating, and..... she doesn't see how I am fixed at all. Healthy and happy is so far beyond my reach right now, I really have to make a choice about what to jettison, like, for instance, booze

Sorry for another essay

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:54:57

x-posts - weegiemum you are so much more succinct than me, but same stuff about what family expect
great idea from your dh.

Lovedaysthename Mon 28-Oct-13 22:55:05

essay away mildred.

youretoastmildred Mon 28-Oct-13 22:56:50

thanks. good night

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 28-Oct-13 23:15:47

A great thread.

My brother is 4 years sober and has found peace/happiness. Going to the meetings is the key to success I think. Good luck to you all.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 08:05:56

Morning All. How are you Mr? What are you thinking about any plans for today?
I've bagged up all of the bottles for the drive of shame to the btle bank. They aren't all mine, but way too many are and I'm tired of the guilt-laden chinking noise they make as I carry them. Whilst there I'll pick up some fruit, and I've heard lemon in water is a good assist for kidneys and liver?

And I have baggage issues, of both/all kinds mildred. My work bag is bulging as I don;t devote enough time daily to unpack it. Resonant of not unpacking feelings, to me at least. Also, being who I am in the family I'm not supposed to have any problem of this magnitude.

I'm not sure how to handle things with friend tonight, whether to just state I won;t be drinking tonight/for the foreseeable future, or just to side step it and get on with the job. I'm thinking the former. I'd prefer things to be crystal clear and know where we stand.

When I've not drunk for a day or two it's purely been a passive thing, with little doubt I'd be 'topping up' v shortly. I think waking up on the morning of Day 3, intact and with a plan, will be a game-changer tbh.

Realised the irony of urging non-twee yesterday whilst having a nn of Loveday, which others could think is twee-ness of the highest order. It is an actual proper name! Just a very old fashioned one but with a nice history.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 09:05:45

Morning all! I feel 'ok' but have a horrible cold and throat, so wish I could stay in bedsad sadly, I in charge where I work and two out of three of the staff are off this week, so have no choice. Just burst into tears in front of a colleague! gahh I am intending to work like a fool, and go early smile.

I don't want to cause trouble the minute the thread is started but honestly, I have serious aversion to AA and hope we can all share our experiences of how we are going to beat this without suggesting that we all try the same path. Does that make sense? Don't shout at me, I'm fragile!! and I totally see why people use the 'A' groups - just was quite damaged by them personally. Anyway, I am intending to have a good day (once I finish a pile of work!) May try to go for a quick run tonight, but not sure yet..I reckon we can all do this you know.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 09:07:11

Been thinking of names for 'us'. Maybe along the lines of 'Restarting, Rejuvenating and Rejoicing'?? Bit twee actually, but something positive like that?

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 09:22:35

I'm sorry your experience of aa wasn't good mrmeanour, 12 step fellowship works pretty well for me, then again I am lucky to live somewhere with a vast amount of meetings to choose from so if I didn't like one I just went to different ones. I certainly have no problem with other people picking a different path, the experience I can share of getting and maintaining sobriety is from that perspective though. I had some unfortunate experiences in early recovery in aa when my own boundaries were dead confused and I was vulnerable. There are some creeps about (as there are everywhere) so it definitely pays to be cautious and to stick with the women at least at first. Not saying that was your experience as you've not said and neither should you unless you would like to.

I think for me the fellowship (connecting with people who accepted me after being so disconnected) and emphasis on abstinence ( as opposed to trying and failing to control my drinking as I had in the past) was very helpful at the start (still is) and later on the process of the steps helps me keep on top of stuff that might otherwise take me back to that place of discomfort and pain where I am seeking relief from that.

I suppose I also think that just as you feel a serious aversion to aa and it's right that you feel you can share that it is also fair enough that people who have a different experience are allowed to share that too.

Whatever works for you though, I've heard good things about smart recovery. I wonder if that might be worth a look for you? I don't know a huge amount about it but I know there are resources online.

Well done on getting through day 1, 24 hours sober is a 100% success for you smile

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 09:28:19

Absolutely agree we must all share how we are getting there! There's no right way for everyone. Sorry if I came across aggressive or pushy.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 09:29:38

Oooh I don't think the AA route will in any way be foisted, or even 'suggested' as a panacea. It's courses for horses, isn't it? and whatever folk will consider is good for them is fine. I've gotten small plans and gambits in my head already to prepare for what will come in the next few days and none of it goes anywhere near an AA style of working, as far as I understand it.

Bottles dumped, lemon juice in hot water cooling, and then off to work. I'll be in radio silence mode for rest of day and large chunks of the evening, so best for today, and don't run Mr if you have cold/throat. Rest and recovery.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 09:32:23

The trouble is, as you said, where I live there are the 'top dogs' in all the meetings and there was nowhere else for me to go. It was a real shame because I started off really hopeful and gave it 2 months until I was so unhappy with the people there I had to leave. I know this is a really unusual experience - I'm not going to start getting snitty with people for whom it works. I wish there were some SMART meetings near me, would def give that a go!

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 09:34:45

grin. My plan is to rest when I can, work cos I have to sad and read lots of nice books at home, whilst drinking hot chocolate! dd is away for the week which is very odd ( she is only 8 and gone away with her friend - completely not missing me of course!!) ds is old enough to get on with things and dh is just a bumbler who will leave me alone and occasionally let me shout and get upset grin

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 09:35:52

You didn't come across as aggressive or pushy at all mr it sounds like you had a bad experience at aa and I'm sure you have totally valid reasons for your aversion. It's a broad highway, I'm sure there's room for all of us smile I'm delighted to have the opportunity to journey together in a supportive way. Those very early days are hard and having a space to share what's going on, whatever form that space takes, is bound to be helpful I think smile

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 09:40:25

Cross posted with you!

That sounds rubbish for you, I don't have experience of living in a smaller place where it's the same folk at all the meetings and I'm not sure I would like it that much tbh. Where I live there is over 400 as meetings a week to choose from and 40 ca meetings! Easy to body swerve anyone that gets on your tits! Some people are sicker than others as they say.

Weegiemum Tue 29-Oct-13 09:48:21

I didn't get on with aa either - it was all a bit worthy for me (which sounds a bit odd coming from me, I'm a Christian, I went to bible college, I'm preaching at my church this weekend!!)

The changes in me and my drinking have come via individual therapy, I see a fantastic clinical psychologist on the nhs! With my bpd I was assessed as not suitable for group therapy (the usual treatment!) - my Gran always said I was "thrawn" (great scottish word which basically means you're a stubborn pita!).

Going for day 19 today! Just about to start work at 10, I'm a family literacy tutor (and project coordinator), so I'm going to be reading "Green Eggs and Ham" with a bunch of young mums and babies aged about 12-16 months. Today it's all about using rhythm and rhyme which children love.

I do not need to drink today!

kingbeat23 Tue 29-Oct-13 10:33:34

Glad I've found this thread. I'm currently working on only having 1 drink a week. This is the longest I've ever gone and the most controlled I've been about drinking for.....well, ever.

As background, my father is a functioning alcoholic. My mother hates it but gets nowhere with him. He doesn't fall over drunk and is quite genial but it will probably kill him hmm

I have been drinking from the age of 12. I looked quite old as a teen so got served what I wanted. Regularly falling over drunk. Most of you said you didn't want to be the drunk girl at the party? Well, that was me.

Left home at 17 and lived in a society that was off grid. Let's just say alcohol was the tamest of things that could be consumed. I was still the drink girl at the party, except I was planning and running those parties too.

Got pregnant with DD in my 30s and split with an emotionally/physically abusive xdp who thankfully, is not in contact with us.

So now I am that functioning alcoholic again, just functioning a bit more than I used to I suppose. Before I had DD I came close to losing my job, home and family and it didn't really do anything. I just got better at hiding it all.

I'm not making excuses to go into the local shop and oops, how did that bottle of wine get in my basket, oh well I'll get it now so one day a week Is good enough for me

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 10:34:51

Good morning, great to see you all.

sorry to hear some of you had bad experiences with AA. I totally identify with struggling with established "top dogs". I also think that the emphasis on humility and fellowship can leave you open to exploitation by bad eggs, esp when vulnerable. I haven't experienced any of this by the way, but I am only dipping my toe in, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyway without wanting to be bossy, and in the spirit of just getting it all out there as suggestions and letting people say whether they agree or not, here is how I would like this thread to be:

- for people who intend to stop drinking. Completely. Not a support group for those attempting moderate drinking. (though I accept in principle that after a period of abstinence you may progress to that, I don't want to hear about it and will find it triggering)

- not for relations or family of alcoholics.

- support the person, but not necessarily the behaviour. If a person comes on here after drinking with a renewed intention to stop, we support the person, and the intention to stop, but not the drinking.

- I suspect there will be an emphasis on the experience of women and mothers on this thread. I am fine with that, and this is where I am coming from, but other voices and other experiences are very welcome.

- authenticity in communication. Upthread someone expressed an opinion about my relationship. I don't agree with what they said but I am fine with the person saying it. I am prepared to be questioned on anything and even be criticised on anything, and I hope that we can establish a dynamic where we can talk honestly but kindly and even with love. I do not want to be staring at weeks of posts by a poster and thinking "It's her husband!" or "it's her diet!" or "it's her job!" and feel like I am not allowed to say it. I might be wrong of course. But let's establish that it's ok to say "sweetie, are you sure it is a good idea to do x, y, z which really don't seem to be working for you?"

- confidentiality. If anyone mistakenly says anything "outing", don't take advantage of it, and alert the poster to it discreetly

Any thoughts / notes / additions?

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 11:05:08

x-posted with Kingbeat. Hi Kingbeat, glad things are going well for you.

On that note - how does everyone else feel about sticking strictly to the "for those attempting total abstinence" principle?

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 11:10:05

Sounds ok to me! We just want to support and help each other. The rest is neither here nor there as far as I can see. I just wanted to be upfront about my experiences with AA. I really do want total abstinence, and I also want to know if I bugger up I can come here, cry and get back on top of it. Really hope I dolt have to though.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 11:29:12

Loveday, that sounds interesting about your name - what is the history? I love things like that

And Weegiemum - I love the word "thrawn". That is great. Is it an adjective - "you were always thrawn" - or "a thrawn"? Love it. Identify with it, sadly.

Glad you are looking forward to the wedding and it will be a happy day for you. I think for me, in situations like this, it is important to understand that moments of rabid panic about not having a glass of booze in my hand will happen, perhaps at unexpected times, but will go away again, and you can be surprised at how fast.
In the past I have always "answered the call" so quickly that I have never discovered that it can just fade away and you can find you are actually having a good time (assuming you would ever have had a good time anyway)

It is different from those awful occasions where you think you need to drink to get through it

kotinka Tue 29-Oct-13 11:32:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 11:36:55

hi kotinka!

Weegiemum Tue 29-Oct-13 11:39:06

Thrawn is an adjective - "she was always thrawn", "he's a real thrawn bugger" etc!

It very much describes me!

kingbeat23 Tue 29-Oct-13 11:40:31

And I've x-posted with everyone!

All that writing took a lot. I don't think I've written it down before.

As I said I'm aiming at 1 drink per week but that's down from only on the day of my evening off (Monday and Friday night for me) as I was at the beginning of the year. Total abstinence seems like a mile off, so I'll back off from posting though will lurk to see how you all do it!

I went off and had a good old think once I'd posted and I think that before I'd pressed post hadn't thought of the whole vibe of the thread properly.

So, last bit to say before I just lurk. I too had an awful experience with AA I don't agree with the main principle of believing in a power greater than myself, so I pretty much fail there. All the drugs and alcohol workers I have worked with have said one day at a time. In my head that's been an excuse to drink as I can start again tomorrow. If you have a major problem with alcohol there is no one day, is there?

Weegiemum Tue 29-Oct-13 11:41:42

Mildred, I like your summary of how it should be.

I've tried moderate/controlled drinking. It doesn't work for me.

kotinka Tue 29-Oct-13 11:45:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kotinka Tue 29-Oct-13 11:52:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 11:58:22

kingbeat, for me one drink a week is much harder than none. I feel like allowing the possibility of a drink is like inviting a whining toddler into my head who just bleats and hectors constantly. For me cutting to 0 drinks a week is like packing that toddler off to bed and having some blessed peace and quiet.
Of course they always wake up again - but having a zero tolerance approach to bedtime works for me!

And my thoughts on "one day at a time": you said "In my head that's been an excuse to drink as I can start again tomorrow. If you have a major problem with alcohol there is no one day, is there?" I see where you are coming from with this. But cutting down from the big picture, and focusing on the present moment (not even day, but minute, sometimes) really helps me.
When I was on about day 3, or 5, or 10 of my current period of sobriety, I started worrying about the family events that I have coming up in November. I told myself (the whining toddler said) "well you'll be pissed again half an hour after you see your parents so you might as well have one or two now." The adult sober me replied "I am not worrying about November now. I want to be sober and so I will not have a drink."

Of course soon it will be November and I will have to deal with it somehow. But it won't help me, in the awful moments, to think "this is terrible and it is going to be terrible every time we have a family party". Instead I will try to think "don't think this second, and hold tight". It is funny how if you get through it, sometimes the desire can just drop off like kicking off some tight shoes - you can just get sudden relief from needing a drink by getting through something or other and coming out the other side. The thing is not to bargain about when / where the other side is, just focus on the getting through this minute - like having a baby.

kingpin I don't want to kick anyone off or consign anyone to lurking but I am a bit nervous of hearing reports of your weekly drink. not sure what the solution is because... in the nicest possible way.... Brave Babes does not work for me because of all the litanies of "just a couple of glasses" and "didn't even open the second bottle" etc etc etc

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 11:58:43

Love "kick it"!

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 12:07:30

My understanding of one day at a time is that I just don't drink today and I don't morbidly reflect on the past or project anxiously about the future. I deal with each day on its own merits. I've just not had a drink today for a fairly good run of days now.

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 12:09:42

And rather than thinking I'll stop tomorrow (tomorrow never comes and all that) I just treat it like all I need to do is not pick up today and ill deal with tomorrow when it happens. By which time it's today - and I just don't drink today.

kingbeat23 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:11:19

Don't worry about kicking me off. You haven't. I just don't want to trigger people with recounts of drinking and as it said in the OP, this thread is for sobriety not sustaining a level of ok-ness with drinking (just as an aside, one drink a week = a bottle of wine, not a glass or 1 pint. Not trying to brag, just trying to show where I am, not where I have to be with this thread)

I will look on and listen to all your wisdoms as it seems you're all a little further on in your journey than I am. I'm quite proud of myself for how far I have got, terrified I won't get any further and aim to be sober and more importantly, happy about it.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 12:11:37

yep - and this connects to Mindfulness notions, like, in a very real sense all we have is the current moment

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 12:12:27

x-posted with kingbeat. very very best of luck x

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 12:12:53

I think your suggested rules are good as well Mildred, and make clear the distinction between this and the brave babes thread which I find quite frustrating tbh.

CJCregg Tue 29-Oct-13 12:31:13

Hello smile

I have lurked on Brave Babes for years, and posted occasionally, but I also find the acceptance and inevitability of lapsing difficult to take.

I've been sober nearly six years. I did it on my own for the first five months, then went to AA. I find the fellowship incredibly supportive and don't think I'd have managed without it, but I totally respect anyone who's gone down other routes.

This is the only thing I've stuck to for any length of time, in my whole life grin.

I'm glad to see this thread here.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 13:12:23

I am going to be honest here and say I am still completely unsure if I can do it. I so so so so want to. I know I can but I need help to get rid of that stupid little voice in my head, that says 'gawannnn, you deserve a few, it's not like you were when you were younger is it~? You're not drinking first thing like you used to! You run, you don't smoke, so what if you have too much tonight - start again next week'. That bloody person in my head always always gets me - after 8 months, 2 months, a week. I need help to make that stop.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 13:13:08

And what to drink instead? Pathetic excuse I know but honestly??

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 13:14:14

I am interests in what you've said about your family party Mildred, it sounds like it's causing you a bit of anxiety. I wonder if there is a way you can frame your not drinking that will help like saying its a health thing or whatever? I'm lucky that my parents were very supportive in my journey (my dad died last year - and I didn't drink, or want to) so it has not been an issue. I think trying to put it off and deal with it when it actually happens is a sensible strategy - deal with each day as it comes. You have the right to just not drink though and whatever they make of that is their stuff not yours though. If I have to go into a drinking situation and I'm unsure I have an exit strategy worked out and give myself permission, in advance to leave if I need to - if in doubt, get out is what I was told and it helps me to have that in mind.

Hello cj smile

It's my sobriety date this week - 3 years free!

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 13:18:46

Personally I drink fizzy water mainly, I don't drink alcohol free stuff or even drink out of wine glasses. I don't want to 'pretend' to drink because why would I want to pretend to do something that made me ill and unhappy? For me it would be a continuation if the old lie that alcohol had anything positive to offer me and that's an illusion for me, one that needs to be smashed.

I suppose the answer is drink whatever you fancy - just not alcohol!

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 13:27:28

For me the idea if 'deserving a few' is based on a lie too, alcohol isn't a treat for me - it makes me miserable, fairly quickly. One way to deal with that voice is to share that you're feeling it with someone and also to put it off till tomorrow and see if it feels the same. I've never woken up wishing if had a drink the night before and each time I felt like that and didn't drink it was easier the next time.
I would share that stuff in meetings but since you don't want to do that perhaps you could try sharing it here?

Enidcoleslaw Tue 29-Oct-13 13:27:49

Sorry - a flood of posts!

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 13:34:01

It is a complete lie isn't it!! grin The way I feel after a 'session' as they call it, what a waste of time and money. grrrrr. I Always feel so proud when I haven't succumbed.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 13:34:17

And three years!!! go you

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 15:34:09

hi CJ. Great track record! I hope you can share some tips with newbies like me. Please!

And you too Enid. Thanks for the ones already in this thread. I do appreciate you chatting about my family.

This weekend I am having my parents to stay, it is not a party. I will offer them drinks and they will accept and at some point in the evening they will notice that I am not drinking (certainly at the dinner table if not before) and they will make a HUGE palaver out of it because THEY WILL CONSIDER IT BAD FORM THAT THEY ARE DRINKING WHILE THEIR HOSTESS ISN'T and it will drive me NUTS because it will be the 10 billionth example of their sticklership for "good manners" making other people (me) very uncomfortable WHEN THE WHOLE POINT OF MANNERS IS SUPPOSED TO BE MAKING OTHER PEOPLE FEEL COMFORTABLE. I will make some excuse and look shifty and awkward and it will be horrible. (You will note that, in theory, all this could be got around by my not offering them booze but that would very definitely not be ok)

In a few weeks it is a big family party at which I hope, with mingling, and less formal eating, no individual person need necessarily notice that I have not had a single drink. However as my dad is very proud of his cellar, and as I am usually glued to a glass of red, that seems like a pretty forlorn hope, especially as the awkwardness coming up this weekend will have tipped them off for something to watch for.

So I have to decide whether I am going to tell a lie (not antibiotics, my dad is a medic and is always telling everyone the antibiotics thing is guff); try to say nothing, except "no thank you" and hope that that will do; or - what?

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 15:34:53

MrMeanour, do you mean you don't want to give up, or you don't think you can? Or a bit of both?

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 16:15:11

I turn my back for 7 hrs and you're up to 111 messages!smile
I like the 'understandings' or ground rules. Here they are again, to save scrolling up:

"- for people who intend to stop drinking. Completely. Not a support group for those attempting moderate drinking. (though I accept in principle that after a period of abstinence you may progress to that, I don't want to hear about it and will find it triggering)
- not for relations or family of alcoholics.
- support the person, but not necessarily the behaviour. If a person comes on here after drinking with a renewed intention to stop, we support the person, and the intention to stop, but not the drinking.
- I suspect there will be an emphasis on the experience of women and mothers on this thread. I am fine with that, and this is where I am coming from, but other voices and other experiences are very welcome.
- authenticity in communication. Upthread someone expressed an opinion about my relationship. I don't agree with what they said but I am fine with the person saying it. I am prepared to be questioned on anything and even be criticised on anything, and I hope that we can establish a dynamic where we can talk honestly but kindly and even with love. I do not want to be staring at weeks of posts by a poster and thinking "It's her husband!" or "it's her diet!" or "it's her job!" and feel like I am not allowed to say it. I might be wrong of course. But let's establish that it's ok to say "sweetie, are you sure it is a good idea to do x, y, z which really don't seem to be working for you?"
- confidentiality. If anyone mistakenly says anything "outing", don't take advantage of it, and alert the poster to it discreetly."

I see abstinence as the goal, and I too imagine a few days in I really wouldn't want to be reading details of other people's 'lapses'. I think in a couple more days I am going to be rather fragile and be looking more for invitations to drink and get that from other's drinking reports. The house is booze and bottle-free, my body is alcohol free and my mind needs to catch up with them.grin

Loveday is an old Cornish name, from a time before we had a judicial system, and one one day a month the villagers who had a dispute with other villagers would meet in the square and resolve issues in front of village elders. This was called the Loveday, and any child boy or girl born on that day was entitled to be called Loveday.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 16:24:53

mildred - I'd think a lie is okay. Would there be a problem with just saying you have quite an upset stomach that day and don't want to mess it up further with alcohol? Even if that elicited a hmm response then surely an explanation of "you wouldn't wish me to be iller would you?".

Or is that too simple and naive of me?

I'm feeling pretty cool about explaining things to be alcohol-expectant friend this evening. I dont know what form of words to use yet, but I'll think of something.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 16:25:38

Oh thanks that is really interesting! When were Lovedays held, and when did they stop?

Weegiemum Tue 29-Oct-13 16:25:53

I've decided I'm not drinking or pretending to at my brothers wedding day after tomorrow. Also at family meal tomorrow night.

If anyone asks I'm saying "I'm not drinking alcohol right now" and that's it.

Some will think I'm pregnant, but I'm post-menopause early (I'm 42). II don't care. Their disapproval can't make me drink!

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 16:34:58

I'm not sure at all about the detail (I guess it was in Norman times when courts began to be set up) but I knew of a Loveday years ago and found it enchanting. It still is mainly Cornish and almost solely girls and has died out massively. I wanted to call dd Loveday but was over ruled 1-1.smile

Weegie - it sounds like a plan, and worth sticking to. For me I didn;t expect to be having to have 'a conversation' with anyone on my Day 1, but I will. The more I have thought about it in the course of today the more I am seeing it as the priority right now and it will take centre stage with no interruption.

DaisyBD Tue 29-Oct-13 16:37:04

Hey all - may I join you? I've just read this thread with interest. I have lurked on the brave babes thread and didn't quite feel at home there, for the reasons others have given here. I find it hard to reach a level of acceptance for relapse and the constant struggle to drink moderately or to control levels of drinking. As far as I'm concerned, if I have to try to control it, then it's already controlling me. If I get into a direct confrontation with booze, there's only ever going to be one winner grin so I don't bother to engage.

I have been alcohol and drug free for nearly 11 years, with the help of a treatment centre, AA, and the support of friends and family. I didn't like AA to start with, but it was compulsory in the treatment centre I was in, and I didn't have any choice. One of the best pieces of advice I got in the early days was 'take what you want and leave the rest'. I do like the principles of AA, I have no issue with a 'higher power' whether that takes the form of a god, the spirit of the universe or a group of recovering alkies, but I know it doesn't suit some, and I'm sorry that people have had bad experiences. As my sponsor says, a roomful of sober arseholes is still a roomful of arseholes - so I take the bits I like and ignore the bits I don't.

Thankyou Mildred for starting this thread. I hope I can help support others in their journey as I have been helped (and still need help). thanks

Weegiemum Tue 29-Oct-13 16:38:34

I'm really happy my wee brother is marrying - I love my sil to be.

But - I can't let it bother my sobriety.

If I don't go out to the shops (and I can't, dc are home) then I'm coming up 19 days. I'm not letting a family wedding derail me. I'm NOT!!

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 16:42:09

Wow 11 yrs Daisy, and here's me on less than 11 hrs.smile
My reasoning is though that in order for me to land on my likely-to-be-uncomfortable Day 3, I have to get Days 1 and 2 under my belt. I am trying Mindfulness but I need more practice.

DaisyBD Tue 29-Oct-13 16:46:35

Loveday - no, you don't need days 1 and 2, you just need now. You've done 11 hours, that's brilliant and amazing, you can do another hour. And if you can't, do another 10 minutes. Or another minute. You know you can.

When I was in treatment, my next-door neighbour on the ward (a verrrrry attractive coke-head) used to plan our escape, and fantasise about taking a taxi up to soho and getting off our faces. We'd promise ourselves we'd do it, we'd definitely do it, but we'd do it tomorrow. It became a game that we played. And it worked. Sometimes I'm still going to do it tomorrow. I just have to get through today first.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 16:55:03

I see.

Thursday is just going to be Thursday. Like this evening will be just this evening, when I won't be drinking through a definite choice I'm making. Just like the next 30 mins.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 16:55:34

Isn't it awful that we feel we have to give excuses to people for not wanting to poison ourselves ? For that is what it must be to people like us, poison sad When I say I'm scared i can't - it's not that i don't want to - I'm scared i will weaken - which is stupid really, have proved I don't have to before for ages sad I will stay close to here and jump in at moments of thinking about it grin Just had a brief run - haven't done it for nearly a week and only managed 20 mins. Oh well. ooh dinner - back soon grin

Newbie05 Tue 29-Oct-13 16:56:00

Hi all, my name's Newbie, and I'm an alcoholic.

Nearly 3 years sober, doing it with the help of AA. I am lucky to live somewhere with tons of meetings, so I can choose which ones suit me. Sorry some of you have had bad experiences.

I so agree with Daisy that a room full of sober arseholes is still a room full of arseholes though. As far as the whole 'higher power' thing goes- I look at it as '2 heads are better than 1'. I couldn't, COULDN'T stop drinking (and more to the point, STAY stopped), by myself, but with other people to help me, so far, I have. In my experience those who try and 'go it alone' tend to fall off the wagon sooner or later.

That's not to say that only AA works, but the power of some sort of 'WE' is huge.

I work on:
-don't drink
-go to meetings
-don't be an arsehole.

And I kind of let the rest wash over me a bit.

Great thread.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 17:05:25

Hi Newbie!
Hi Daisy!

Great people on here to learn from. Glad to see you all.

[gross generalisation alert] I think people in the US would think it very rude to hector a person about having a soft drink. I think it would be considered outrageously personal to say "why on earth are you drinking orange juice?"

Newbie05 Tue 29-Oct-13 17:06:20

Oh, and never mind 'a day at a time', sometimes it's 10 minutes at a time.

Don't drink today, get hammered tomorrow. That got me through many a tough time in the beginning. Still does TBH.

DaisyBD Tue 29-Oct-13 17:12:41

I do think that we need to re-learn normal drinking habits. I have known people who would sit in a pub for four hours and drink six pints of orange juice and soda. I mean, really? I used to fret and fret about what I could drink, what I could say to people, how to deflect questions... In fact I used to think that AA was a training centre or behaviour modification programme to learn this sort of stuff.

Actually I think people care less than you'd think - mostly they're more interested in themselves than in us. I used to surround myself with other drinkers so I thought that no-one, but NO-ONE, drank in moderation or even - god forbid - not at all. I've realised that isn't actually the case grin. Most people don't give a flying fuck what anyone else is drinking. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind (I do love a good AA slogan).

I choose not to tell people anything, on the whole, and I've found that hardly anyone probes closely. If they do, I get the feeling it's because they're worried that they might have a drink problem themselves and they want to get reassurance.

Newbie05 Tue 29-Oct-13 17:24:12

I used to think 'Bridget Jones, she drinks more than me, I can't have a problem- HA'.

I mean, WHO compares themselves to a fictional character? Normal? I don't think so! Please tell me I'm not the only one or I'll be too embarrassed to come back.......

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 17:25:38

I remember going out midweek to a concert with someone and agonising all day about how I was going to explain I was not drinking. When it came to it, he didn't, either. It just wasn't necessary in his world to treat a mid-week last minute event (free tickets turned up from somewhere) as a DRUNK-PORTUNITY

ImagineJL Tue 29-Oct-13 17:27:03

Mildred there is one antibiotic that absolutely cannot be combined with alcohol. Anyone who drinks while taking it will be very sick. It's actually used in the drug Antabuse. It's called metronidazole. It's often prescribed by dentists for abscesses etc. That would be a good excuse, because a dental abscess wouldn't make you ill and it wouldn't be visible to anyone else, so very believable. And the "one won't hurt" line doesn't work either, because even a tiny amount of alcohol mixed with metronidazole would make you really sick.

MrMeanour Tue 29-Oct-13 18:35:24

I watch coronation street and reckon if they're having a few every night it must be ok blush

BrokenEggshells Tue 29-Oct-13 20:53:24

Room for one more please?

Been thinking a lot the last couple of weeks about my drinking and I have come to the conclusion I need to stop completely. Moderate drinking I cant do. I can stop for days (more commonl y days if at all) or a month inbetween but when I drink I DRINK. Kinda the thought I never get one bottle of wine but always get another for backup.

My kids serve more to be frank and I hate tge guilt and shame the next day (and for me I get a bit panicky and health anxious about things)

Funny thought I feel frankly a bit terrified about the thought of abstinence forever. I know I use alcohol as a crutch against the lonliness and stress of being a single parent of a high maintenance young toddler and another one. Ive been raised the way alcohol is tge accepted norm every.night in my family. Never day time but come past 6pm fill yer boots.
Excuse all typos internet isnt playing ball so on phone but great thread

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 21:01:38

Hi brokeneggshells!

"I feel frankly a bit terrified about the thought of abstinence forever. "

Don't think about it then. I won't. I can't.
(I am not being flippant)

right now this cup of tea will do me fine, and all I need is right now.

Sorry to hear life is stressful. toddlers can fray your nerves like nothing else.

BrokenEggshells Tue 29-Oct-13 21:06:40

Newbie the likes of that rings a bell I do it with smoking too. Weegle my mum calls me thrawn too ( I read its as stubborn, obstinate and will fight my corner) smile

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 21:11:20

yep, me too. I would always notice that sophisticated people on TV can have a glass of wine alone after a hard day doing a glamorous job, in their fabulous bachelorette pad, perhaps in satin pyjamas, and they aren't losers.

I went out for dinner with a bunch of people the other day and did not drink. In some ways it was fine, in others, it was kind of hard work (but that is the people as much as anything). Anyway I was putting one of them up which was a bit of a pain as I was just exhausted with everything by home time and wanted to be alone, but you know, you get on with it. When we got home I was so relieved that I had not been drinking and therefore did not have the death-wish urge to open another bottle at home, which would have been impossible in front of a normal sensible person. What a relief to have a cup of tea and go to bed.

BrokenEggshells Tue 29-Oct-13 21:21:34

Thanks Mildred and I know you arent being flippant at all, its merely a case of taking a day at a time. Trying to get my head round it thats all.

If Im totally honest drink is my crutch now because of toddlers but theres always an excuse isnt there? Before that's there was the breakups. Before that I was the ' party girl'. Alcohol has been inextricably linked throughout my life for one reason or another andy I want to break that cycle as I feel so much better andy healthier when Im not drinking. Like during my.pregnancies. One of tgem wasnt easy but I felt not only healthy in body but mind.

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 22:11:28

Glad you felt better when not drinking - you have something to compare it to.

Here is stage 2 of my drinking story:

When I went to university I had had a tiny number of hangovers and drinking didn't seem to me to be anything remotely to worry about. Not drinking in the evening (or any time) was much more a habit than drinking. but I did enjoy it.

At college I struggled. I really panicked. I think looking back I had serious problems with anxiety and depression. I can remember lying in bed panicking so hard I was thinking about suicide; other times lying in bed, knowing I was late for something that was happening right now, with tears rolling down my face.
I wanted to make friends but I didn't know how.
I had lost my faith years ago and with no one watching me did not go to Mass any more. I didn't join the chapel choir because it didn't occur to me to go to C of E services. I got in with a group of people who appeared to drink a lot and appeared to smoke a lot of dope (but actually looking back it is clear that many of them were very disciplined about when and how much, and actually did very well)
I was so anxious all the time I had no idea how to make the most of any opportunities. I glued myself to my friends in the bar. I did not know how to be alone. As a result I hardly knew how to do any work. A lot of people thought I was very cool. ha ha ha ha.
I met a man (he was a mature student, not old, 23, but he seemed grown up to me). he was clever and funny and sensitive and had fiendish mental health problems. I was insanely in love with him. I felt sick with love. He was the most handsome man in the world. To this day it blows my mind that I got anywhere near someone so unbelievably handsome. He could be very quiet and intimidating. The more withdrawn he was the more I would hang around him waiting for him to be warm and sweet again.

I drank and smoked constantly.

At Easter my sister took me on a short walking holiday and you could not drink or smoke in the youth hostel. In the evenings, after good healthy exercise, I drank tea and worked through a course book from a course that I had totally neglected for months. I learnt it all in 3 or 4 sober evenings and that summer I got a First in that subject and did well in the rest. Overall I got a 2:1 for the year. I seemed to be getting away with things.
I couldn't see that the reason I had managed it was because I had had that sober break with no drinking or smoking and I was feeling secure enough to work, for the first time all year, in the youth hostel with my sister. I didn't feel alone and I was able to concentrate. I didn't see what this meant about how I had to manage my life to have more of those times. I had no idea how to.

I was brought up religious but I was taught nothing about how to look after myself spiritually, (or emotionally or mentally - even physical health was considered a bit declasse by my dad who thought we did too much PE at school). Socially? Ha - having friends was actively disapproved of. I had no idea how to look after myself, even that it was allowed to have my needs met. I needed to learn relaxation techniques; I need to build some exercise into my life; I needed to address the issue of my faith instead of running away from it; I needed a social network and some study buddies; I actually think I needed a proper professional to talk to as well. Instead, I drank and smoked, drank and smoked, drank and smoked.

I actually felt so bad so much of the time I couldn't even see how bad I felt. I had nothing to compare it to. I assumed everyone felt like that and covered up well. Maybe many of them did - I went to a university where people did commit suicide. I knew three suicides at university. we were not looked after. It did not occur to me to try to talk to someone about any of this. It literally did not occur to me.

Something terrible happened in my third year that I do not want to write here. (It was not sexual abuse of any kind.) I lost my mind and forgot how to write. I saw my hand trying to write on the page and couldn't do it. My cousin told me to try to get help or at least get out of the exams. I couldn't do it. I could not actually talk to anyone. I didn't know how to start. I took the exams, got a third, and went home to my parents for a short time before leaving to stay with a friend in London with no money, no job, shit qualifications. It was a nasty leaving. I fell out with my mum the night before I left and was not speaking to her. I can't remember why. I am sure I was a massive pain the arse.

When the bad thing happened, in the holidays after, I played the piano at home for hours on end. I could do nothing else. I sat and played and played and my tears fell on the keyboard and when I was playing I was not hurting myself. My mother came in and asked me why I was crying and was angry with me. She knew about the bad thing. I couldn't understand what she expected me to say to "why". She was always angry with me for feeling bad.

I don't mind if anyone is reading this or not. I am not going to write any more just now.

I hope you are all having a good night and are curled up somewhere warm with someone nice and your entertainment of choice x

youretoastmildred Tue 29-Oct-13 22:15:12

I have never told anyone all this like a story. Strange to think that DP doesn't know any of this.
I know I always say I am not writing any more and then I always do.

CJCregg Tue 29-Oct-13 22:17:58

BrokenEggshells your post rang so many bells with me. I was that person, too. Brought up in a culture of a drink as soon as the sun was over the yardarm, first thing when I got home from work, etc etc.

Yes, the thought of abstinence 'forever' is daunting. That thought stopped me doing anything at all about my drinking, for years and years. It really is like flicking a switch, though - once I'd made the leap, I couldn't believe how easy it was. Much, much easier to say 'no', plain and simple, than to do that awful dance of 'just one', or 'two and then I'll stop because I'm driving', or 'not during the week' and inevitably ending up hammered and doing something I either regretted or couldn't remember.

Life is complicated now because it is life, but it feels so bloody free without the alcohol. I'm in control, not the booze.

CJCregg Tue 29-Oct-13 22:21:45

Sorry to x-post, mildred.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 23:17:14

mildred none of your words are wasted, so please don't stop writing.

So many new folks, hi. My friend has just gone (if you recall we were doing a job in my house) and we were largely successful in the task. We have a late Tesco round the corner selling booze til 11pm and he intimated that was an option ( I know him v well and knew the direction it was going). I said I wasn;t going to be drinking right now or in the forseeable future, and certainly not today. His response was to be slightly supportive but also slightly undermining - you can go back to it, it won;t be forever. He fully saw the liquid cosh point I was making and how I really derive so little from drinking yet it manages to blight me, and seems to keep me on a lead every day and keeping me away from my finer feelings. He is bpd and I think was a bit 'scared' by my words.
I am sure I will sleep better tonight. I am up early and tomorrow is a big exercise day. Day 1 is passing. The difference is that last week one day was just a 'rest day'. Tomorrow is another day.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 23:21:24

Today I've also been handed a real professional challenge, a development which I have no experience in and need to 'arm' myself with stuff before approaching it. Wandering into it in any befuddled state isn't an option.

Lovedaysthename Tue 29-Oct-13 23:29:40

eggshells greetings to you. Where do you think you are re kicking it? Is it wish list item, talking to others, looking for support (well you're telling us so that one is sorted to a degree - is there anyone else in your life who should be knowing, to be there to assist?), ready to go now, or really not sure. OR a mix of all of them?

lovemenot Wed 30-Oct-13 00:26:23

After 30 years of drinking (I'm now late 40's), I currently have five and a half years sober.

I didn't do AA either although I have no issue with their programme. So I just wanted to post here in case others are looking for a different way. Women tend to carry more guilt than men, and so the journey to sobriety can be different. I came across a Women's group called Women for Sobriety http://www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/ .....it's American based but they may have some workshops in the UK. It's got an online forum that is totally private. I found it incredibly empowering, and now feel not that I can't drink, but that I simply don't drink.

FranTan Wed 30-Oct-13 05:18:04

Hello

Good thread but confess I've not read all. Just feeding the baby. Coming up to 8 years sober. Regularly attend AA meetings. X

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 07:01:20

So many sober inspiring people - I want to be able to write 'X years sober' smile Anyway, good morning! Feeling very well today - good nights sleep after my run and my the hideous weekend has begun to start clearing. I have a ct scan at hospital this morning at 8am!!! early shock I won't talk about what for yet - not being 'mysterious' grin but it would out me completely and I'm not ready. Loving your story Mildred, so many similarities. So, I will hop in the shower and wish everyone a happy sober day.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 07:16:26

Morning Mr and all. Pretty good sleep and feeling far more 'refreshed' than is usual. And me and my friend stayed on the job last night instead of wandering off for booze, and I saved a few quid and now I'm well-placed to face the day and I quite like this state of feeling as it isn't accompanied by the notion that I will be automatically drinking later. That is something I need to plan for.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 08:59:52

I am meeting a very old friend after work tonight - at a pub. Can I be sent lots of Do Not Drink thoughts at 5pm grin. I won't but I need that extra push! Just been for my scan. Very relaxing actually grin

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 09:21:17

Hi Fran
Hi Lovemenot

very impressive, thanks for posting.

MrMeanour - hope the scan was ok.
About tonight - plan plan plan. know what you are going to drink so when it comes to it you just come out with it instead of going "ermmmmmmm"

and enjoy seeing your friend!

Have a good day all

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 09:46:12

Could you meet in a coffee shop instead mrmeanour? I think for me early on it was massively helpful to stay out of places like pubs that are very alcohol focused. If you had just started a diet you wouldn't meet your friend at an all you can eat buffet! If someone was trying to quit heroin and they told you they were going to meet a friend at their dealers house and just sit with them while they used but not use themselves I'm sure you'd say 'don't do that! That's crazy!'. It's pretty much the same IMO.

I hope I'm not overstepping the mark and certainly I cant tell you what you should do but I hope this thread can be a place where we can be realistic with our advice and our responses?

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:52

Oh and a suggestion about the title - maybe something about living life on life's terms? Maintaining abstinence for me is about dealing with life as it happens without drinking. The good bits, the bad bits, the dull bits. So "embracing reality" or something?

DaisyBD Wed 30-Oct-13 10:02:56

I totally agree with Enid about meeting somewhere other than a pub. If you keep going to a hairdressers, eventually you're going to get a haircut. It's a very hard thing to do to yourself, going to a pub. Can you try to be kind to yourself instead? Do something to show care and love for yourself, and not just agree to what the other person wants. It's ok to look after yourself and ask for what you need.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 10:08:44

I don't think we need to worry too much about the title for a while because we will only need one if / when this gets to 1000!
while I get the sentiment of "embracing reality" I don't want it to sound new agey and like we are in a room which is furnished with posters of soft focus lilies with inspirational slogans underneath. I am actually full of all that sort of thing and utterly rely on it, but I think it gives a false impression of the bad-ass sort of attitude I want us to have.

Which includes saying things like "seriously? You are meeting your friend in a pub on day 1?" wink

I think all present participles (-ing words) have a sense of that. Bouncing, embracing, enjoying, learning, growing.... all sound like things heard on half-baked youth retreats run by ill-qualified amateurs who panic in the face of analysis

I don't mean to be mean! I am just EXTREMELY pernickety about language. I like the thought, let's think about a way to say it. like "get real!" or something. I am trying to get real.

sorry if I am being too prescriptive. I am trying to preserve honesty and authenticity and I find that a very soft, head-tilting atmosphere really stifles that. and then I feel like everyone hates me. And then I get pissed off and go away.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 10:19:17

No that's fine - I do understand the reasoning. It's a pub/coffee place too - so I will be ok. I just need to know exactly what I will be drinking as was suggested and all will be well. I love 'fancy' coffees so will plan to have one before I go in. If I start feeling stressed (which I'm sure I won't) I'll suggest we go elsewhere!

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 10:20:41

I actually agree - get real! appeals to me A LOT. I think it's striking that balance between being kind but REALISTIC. The help that helped me (helps me most) is not people sugar coating stuff or tiptoeing round me but people kindly but firmly telling me the truth.

I think the title conversation is proving a really useful way if establishing all our hopes for the thread and where we're at.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 10:46:05

I agree. The only thing that would worry me is if I (or any of us) did lose the plot and have a drink (really really praying not - genuinely) and came back to admit it, would we be able to be kind to each other about it? Part of my leaving AA was due to the vile attitude to people who had relapsed. no kindness at all, just ignoring them and being really nasty. Oh and the day I was told to stop taking my anti depressants (that have kept me out of hospital for 6 years!) because I wasn't mentally ill, I was 'just' an alcoholic.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 10:53:32

God I hope so (be kind that is). I honestly really think that it is possible to do so. I am really sorry that you have had bad experiences at AA and that nonsense about the ADs sounds high handed, arrogant, and cruel.
I really hope I can always be kind and that there will be kindness for me, too.

Hello, I'm in if that's ok! I am only 1 week sober unfortunately after a relapse following six months of abstinence. I don't use the brave babes thread for the reasons stated in the OP.

I did AA for 18 months but it really wasn't for me but would support people in using any way that works for them, sobriety is the aim not the means to gaining it. I use Antabuse & have been to lots of SMART meetings.

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 11:02:42

God that's so unhelpful mrmeanour, it's shit you experienced that in aa. My experience of coming back to meetings after relapse was always that I was very warmly welcomed and people were very encouraging and relieved I'd made it back which as far as I'm concerned is how it should be.
Prescribed medication is between you and your doctor - the only requirement for membership at aa is a desire to stop drinking - that sounds like someone's opinion that they were 'helpfully' sharing - opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one! When people share their opinions with me and I don't agree I just disregard it and move on.

I think the fine line for me is that whilst I am more than happy to welcome back anyone who has a relapse I'm not going to cosign anyone's bullshit. - I'd like this thread to be for people who are trying their utmost to get through the shit life throws at them without drinking, a day at a time.

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 11:04:36

That first week is a killer in my experience oops so well done you getting through it! How are you feeling now?

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 11:08:53

cool grin. thank you. welcome oops we're virtual buddies - I am on day 3 so far.. I wish there was a SMART group where I am sad

DaisyBD Wed 30-Oct-13 11:08:55

Oh yeah, there are some weird people in AA, purists about prescription drugs and any sort of medication. And you're in relapse if you exercise more than once a week. I sometimes think that for some people AA is as much as an addiction as anything else - I have met people who go twice a day. That can't be right. Well, it wouldn't be right for me anyway (live and let live etc). I do think that kind of thing can be alienating and too prescriptive. I always remember, take what I want and leave the rest...

On the other hand, I've only ever known kindness and welcome shown to anyone who's lapsed and come back. I know that if I ever drink again (and who knows if that would happen - I hope not but I try never to get complacent) that there will always be a place for me back at the AA table, I will be welcomed with open arms and looked after. One of the kindest things anyone ever said to me was, let us love you until you're well enough to love yourself. And I am.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 11:18:02

I know someone who has been going about twice a day for twelve years. Fair enough if it helps...but does it!?grin

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 11:54:25

I don't know mrmeanour, are they drinking?

Blimey, oh to have the time for two meetings a day! Fat chance of that with two kids & a job. I really only saw kindness in AA, met some absolutely lovely people. Met some arseholes too but that's just life isn't it?! thlgrin. My issues with it were to do with my entire lack of belief in a higher power (yeah yeah, your group can be your HP but the concept just didn't work for me at all). Also I used to suffer from a debilitating panic disorder & speaking in public is a huge no no to me so the monologue style of sharing, even from the room let alone as a main sharer was never going to happen. But like I said, if it works for you then I would support/encourage it. Even though I no longer attend meetings I have suggested them to others because I think the steps are largely very useful & the support is excellent.my experience of relapse and AA was that people were kind & welcoming to those coming back but ignored whilst they were away. All the funerals freaked me out too! There were regularly people dying (sober) but in hindsight that's going to happen in any large network. I am very lucky in that in my city there are around 50 AA meetings a week & there are SMART meetings on about four days, I think.

Hi Enid, I'm feeling good thanks. It takes me about three days to feel normal & then I start sleeping well and I do love to sleep! The Antabuse has some side effects but its worth it because my drinking was nearly always spontaneous, if I've taken a tablet it means I can't drink for a week so my head is (almost) entirely free of that inner battle of 'should I, shouldn't I' which I find so exhausting, and a battle I rarely won.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 12:02:17

No he's not - good point <chastised>

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 12:03:28

Interested to hear about antabuse. Is is difficult to get prescribed?

Sorry, I proper laughed at two meetings a day and still dring! thlgrin. There are one or two characters in my city who would spend their days trawling from one meeting to the next but popping into the offie for a bottle between them. I guess they're lonely. They were tolerated largely unless they were to vocal & obviously drunk in a meeting. I saw lots of drama in meetings, I quite enjoyed that side of it thlhmm

Antabuse wasn't especially difficult to get. I did have to jump through a few hoops I suppose. I had to do a home detox which I thought unnecessary but they have to ensure you haven't drank for a few days before starting it. I also had to see a psychiatrist to check I wasn't a risk to drink whilst taking it & that I was we'll motivated. I was then assigned a key worker who I saw on e a week for the fist couple of months but then I have been left to it other than seeing my GP when I need a repeat prescription.

Feel free to ask any other questions about it smile

Apple for dodgy spelling/grammer, I'm on my phone.

GAH!!!!! apols not apples gawd sake.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 12:14:07

And does it really work ? Stupid question I know, but you know what I mean I hope!! As in do you not drink because you're taking it or take it so you don't drink?

Ok. It worked at first because of what I said about knowing I couldn't drink for a week which freed me from the daily mental battle. I never was one for planning drinking in the future, it was always 'I've had a shit day' 'I've had a great day' 'it's Friday' etc etc, you know the drill I'm sure. So if I couldn't drink within a few hours I wasn't really interested. I take the tablet at bedtime by which time I'm glad to have got to the end of the day without drinking so I never questioned whether it was a good idea. So that's the psychological success of it for me.

The physical side - this is where I have to admit that my relapse started whilst still taking it. I was/am having a rough ride ATM. My 20yr marriage has fallen apart & the stress of that led me to hit the fuckit button & see what happens. What happened was that I felt dreadfully ill, pukey, massive headache, palpitations & the worst was that my eyes went BRIGHT red! It looked absolutely dreadful & I couldn't even drink enough to get a buzz. I then couldn't take the tablet for a few days & then put it off & relapsed for two months on and off.

I won't make that mistake again, I hope.

Oh, and both. I take it so I can't drink & I want complete abstinence as there is no chance of me ever drinking a single glass of red with dinner. Can't see the point, I am an oblivion drinker as it was so nicely described in the guardian last weekend.

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 12:46:32

Sorry mrmeanour I wasn't meaning to chastise - it just seemed like the obvious question! I don't do two meetings a day, and only did that a few times even at the start but I did used to do 4 or more a week. Lots of meetings make it easier at the start or they did for me anyway. That said, I didn't get sober to live in meetings, I got sober so I could have a life outside them - a springboard to normal living as they say. I do 2 or 3 a week including the group I'm a member of.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 12:47:19

I saw the oblivion drinker article too - and read it very uncomfortably I must admit. Sorry to hear you've had a rough time sad My last binge was this weekend past. Having an enormously stressful time at the moment for several reasons and I just couldn't cope any more, so decided to go for it. Big mistake - and has led me to this place, physically - this thread - like a 'sign' or something grin and mentally and emotionally, I cannot take that risk anymore. What is happening in my life is happening anyway so why fuck it up further?

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 12:49:58

It sounds like you're going through a really tough time Oops. It was double shit for me when I realised that booze didn't even help anymore, it was just another problem, I felt totally adrift and very raw. Only way out is through though and I've got through stuff sober I never thought I would be able to.

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 12:50:47

Cross posted with you mr, sorry you're having a crap time too.

Sorry it's tricky for you too mrdemeanour. Do you mind if I ask if you're a bloke? Just curious.

You're quite right though, drinking doesn't help at all (I learned a lot in AA lol) & in fact I managed the first two months of the break up entirely sober so I can't really use it as an excuse, just a reason. There's nothing in life that can't be made worse by picking up a drink!

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 13:02:02

Anything that seems like a reason to drink is an even better reason not to!

DaisyBD Wed 30-Oct-13 13:02:57

I have to remind myself when things are going to shit and everything is really stressful, that there is NOTHING in my life that wouldn't be made 100 times worse by drinking. A few months after I got sober I had some horrible health issues, which were unpredictable and scary and I had several emergency admissions to hospital and blood transfusions and stuff. It was hideous. I could almost see people looking at me out of the corner of their eyes, holding their breath... Is she going to start drinking again...? Fortunately all desire to drink had gone by then, it was like a fucking miracle or something, I just kept thinking, if I drink this will be unbearable and messy and horrible. More horrible.

I also can't cope with speaking in public, even at AA meetings - I love listening, and I can talk to people afterwards but I find it almost impossible to open my mouth. Funnily enough though, I've done the main share a few times, and although I was so terrified beforehand I thought I was going to pass out, I felt utterly brilliant afterwards. Sort of like bungee jumping.

Sorry that you're having a tough time, Oops and MrMeanour, this will pass and you will be ok. You will.

Beeyump Wed 30-Oct-13 13:12:58

I think it's great that this thread has been started.

I am 15 months sober, thanks to a treatment centre and AA. It's a day at a time... grin Oh, and I'm also 22, but please don't feel sorry for me!

Anything that seems like a reason to drink is an even better reason not to!

I like this! I have few useful phrases stored on my phone for when I need them, I think I'll add that one, thank you.

I only ever shared twice from the floor & it really didn't make me feel good at all, it made me feel worse so the thing that eventually led to my decision to leave AA entirely was that I kept being asked to do a share & I was running out of excuses. When I spoke to people about it I was advised to ask my sponsor, she told me to do it. I'm a bit stubborn blush

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 13:17:55

Nope I'm not a bloke grin was trying to be witty with my n/c : ''misdemenour'" smile

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 13:19:05

which I cannot spell....
misdemeanor

Beeyump Wed 30-Oct-13 13:23:14

And after I relapsed and returned to AA, I was shown...love, I guess. I was told 'you need never feel this way again'. Because I wanted to kill myself at that stage.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 13:23:22

Could we have a link to the "oblivion" article please?

Hi Beeyump!

Beeyump Wed 30-Oct-13 13:24:17

Hi Mildred smile Thanks for starting the thread!

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 13:27:24

Sorry it's from the Mail if anyone has a problem with that ! oblivion drinkers

DaisyBD Wed 30-Oct-13 13:28:07

When I spoke to people about it I was advised to ask my sponsor, she told me to do it. I'm a bit stubborn

I can totally identify with that! I'm really stubborn too. I do try to do whatever my sponsor tells me though, including sharing at meetings. We fell out once, about four years ago, because she wanted me to do 90 in 90 (meetings in days) and I absolutely couldn't fit it in. Well, I could have, but I didn't want to. So I didn't in the end. I can't remember how we resolved it, but we did and I'm really happy we did. I still have a close relationship with her, but I hardly ever go to meetings. I'm v conflicted about AA meetings, on the one hand I always feel better for going, but on the other I hate sharing and never want to go. I see it a bit like going to the gym.

FranTan Wed 30-Oct-13 13:32:58

Ho hope you don't mind me adding my pennies worth on the number of meetings (baby napping so don't get to come on here many times a day).
When you get sober life continues to be shit sometimes but you are much better equipped to deal with it. Typically people who are newly sober or are still drinking are encouraged to attend frequent meetings, as I did. Just being around those who understood helped me immeasurably. It was such a relief to know that I wasn't the only one. Perhaps after a time you might reduce the meetings. I typically make only one meeting a week as my husband works away and I have small children. However, when the shot hits the fan it is good to up the meetings.
I was amazed by two friends or mine; one who got cancer and another whose girlfriend committed suicide. They attended daily meetings for several months because, despite having years or sobriety, were terrified that the thought of a drink might become a good idea. It didn't, thankfully. Other people attend lots of meetings simply because they want to show their gratitude by supporting those who are struggling to put it down.
Other people attend lots of meetings because hey, it's better to spend a few hours a week with friends than drinking alone at home.
X

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 13:36:35

As we've pledged to be honest , I am going to say that I am beginning to feel an AA bias on here sad It is possible to do it without AA and I know my experience may have been extreme but I need support as much as everyone on here does, which hopefully can mean an exploration and talking about other ways too. Perhaps it's early days still on this thread. Sorry, but I'd rather say it than feel uncomfortable.

There does seem to be a few AA attenders on here but I'm comfortable with that as long as they're comfortable with the fact that AA didn't work for me and that other methods did.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 14:05:00

MrMeanour, does it bother you that some posters are talking about AA? It doesn't mean you have to go. And other approaches - I for one am very interested to hear about them but I don't know much. I am very interested to hear what you (or anyone else) has to say though.
We can only talk about what we know (which in my case is very little, I'm afraid)

What is SMART for instance, does anyone want to talk about that?

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 14:06:50

I am being a bit sensitive aren't I? I apologise.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 14:13:34

Don't apologise!

DaisyBD Wed 30-Oct-13 14:28:42

No don't apologise, it's a valid point. My own view is that parts of AA have worked for me, some bits of it I'm really not keen on, and I think that whatever works, works. I'm sad when people have a bad experience of AA, as there are some really good parts, and I'm very happy to hear about other things that have worked for other people.

For me, what really worked is that I had truly had enough of drinking, and the pain of continuing to drink became worse than the pain of trying a new path. Unlike many, I didn't have lots of goes at getting sober - I never really tried to moderate, for example (I think I knew that I would never be able to) and when it was time to give in, I had really surrendered. It was that or die, really. So I was lucky.

Sometimes I do wonder whether I'd be able to drink again in moderation (not that I ever did) and maybe I would, who knows. But I'm not sure, and I sure as hell don't want to find out that I'm wrong! I don't want to lose my new life, which I love. Sometimes it's shit, of course, but on the whole I love it.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 14:38:57

I'm a odd bod to be frank. I am one of these people who, once they have had a bad experience, be it a person, a situation or an event, I find it hard to let go and forgive I suppose the word is. I guess this manifests in that I don't want to hear the good about the thing that I found bad, if that makes sense. Of course, I know that many people get sober with AA and I suppose in a way I am jealous that I didn't - not because I didn't want to but because the pain I was experiencing there was too big for me to stay. I also know that the same people who caused me that pain are still there and probably doing the same to others! I wish I had been stronger and stuck it out and risen above it (I was there about 4 months I recall). So, That's why I was getting cross. I'll try and get over it! I will be getting sober sort of on my I guess - I have a wonderful dh and don't really go out a lot (saddo!) so hope I can draw strength from him and everyone here smile

powellct Wed 30-Oct-13 14:49:26

YTM - can't read the whole thread on my tiddly phone, but more than happy to point you in some directions for support if you want.
Huge congrats on 42 (now 44?) days dry.

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 15:10:08

Thanks powellect. Yes 44, not counting (half-over) today. 45 when I go to bed tonight, (all going to plan!)

SMART is a scientifically based programme. Fellowship bashing is not allowed, it's as anonymous as AA & provides a support network in a similar way. Instead of sharing each person is given a chance to chat about the highs or lows of their day/week but it's more of a discussion than a monologue. Then the facilitator will demonstrate one of the tools used to keep sober or clean and relate it to the things talked about in the 1st bit of the meeting. The tools include addressing HALT (hungry angry lonely tired), riding the wave (of craving) & seeing the movie through to the end ie thinking beyond getting a buzz to what almost certainly lies beyond that & the consequences. There are other tools which I think you'll find online if you google. They have online meetings too if there aren't any in your city.

BrokenEggshells Wed 30-Oct-13 16:01:47

You asked where I am now LoveDay? Yes I am ready to go now. A few things have come to light recently and it's been a series of wake-up calls. I honestly don't know where to turn for support. AA wouldn't suit me as there is only one in my town and it's a very small town. Not ready for that step yet. Plus I have the kids nearly 24/7 so it's not an option to find one in the next town. I am enjoying reading about the various different opinions on it however.

My parents wouldn't understand (big drinkers) as are most of my friends. Birds of a feather perhaps and as CjCregg stated also a culture of drinking here.

Well done on the 44 days Mildred and I find it quite inspiring to read about people stopping years.

Here I am on day one.

powellct Wed 30-Oct-13 17:28:25

Im a SMART facilitator and national facilitator trainer if anyone wants more details.
And no, we don't have any issues with AA - our philosophy is its whatever works for you.

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 17:52:33

Is smart a paid for thing then it is it free like aa? I only know about it vaguely through friends who work in addictions field where I live.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 17:54:57

I would love to try SMART. I'm nt great with online type things though - but as there is no meeting within 50 miles of me, I will certainly give it a go. Have been looking on the site most of the day. My friend postponed which was a good thing in the end. Have been quite tearful today - the three day remorse thing I think. It always seems to be three days. Have sent dh out to buy 'nice soft drinks' 'top end' ones as i call them grin

Smart is free other than passing the pot round.

Chin up mrmeanour, don't let that mood lead you to a bottle!

Enidcoleslaw Wed 30-Oct-13 19:15:26

Away out to my meeting - collecting my 3 year key ring!

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 19:24:47

oh well done!! grin

weregoingtothezoo Wed 30-Oct-13 19:41:59

I'd like to join - I'm we'regoingtothezoo and I'm an alcoholic with 16 months continuous sobriety. I'm a Christian and I've given up with the help of God and the love and support of people in my church.
However I lost everything first - my daughter, and my health (major injury causing long term disability). I tried many things but couldn't get AA to work (something to do with being able to make God into whoever you wanted) and had a really nasty experience on the Brave Babes thread.

I can't moderate. I can't let any sort of substitute run unchecked really - overeating, spending, etc. Obviously I fall for things like that but I usually realise I'm trying to use something to make myself feel better. I'm learning it's ok to have feelings. And making progress on my long recovery road from my life changing injury.

Some really wise words written upthread - thank you for helping me stay sober today.

Sorcha1966 Wed 30-Oct-13 19:44:24

My name is Sorcha and I am very afraid that I have an alcohol problem. I am 47 and have been drinking heavily for at least 20 years. I would very much like to be alcohol free. I have tried many times to cut down, moderate, not drink alone, not drink on weekdays, not drink before 8pm - you name it I have tried to do it. Always I end up drinking too much.

Most weeks I think I drink about 60 units. Sometimes its more. I try to have one or two nights a week when I don't drink - that works sometimes. I am too afraid to go to the doctor after some abnormal blood tests more than 2 years ago.

I manage ok day to day. I hold down a responsible job. I don't miss work, I don't not do anything. But I drink a bottle of wine most nights and struggle to remember things i have done/said. At weekends i sometimes start drinking at mid-day and will be pissed by 7pm. That's not a good look for my children. The whole thing is unhealthy, a crap example and perhaps crucially completely out of my control.

SO why do I drink. I drink t cope with pressure. Pressure of work, financial problems, too much to do and no time, intermittent relationship problems,(my DH is also quite a heavy drinker but he is much bigger than me so its less obvious)

I hate it. I'm desperate to stop. I'm scared to stop. I'm scared to admit i cant stop. I love drinking. I need it, but its killing me.

Today is my third consecutive day without alcohol. That hasn't happened since January. I cannot look forward beyond the next 1/2 hour right now. I have cup of tea and no alcohol in the house. I want to be sober. I want not to drink. I want to be free of the dreadful anxiety and fear that i have around alcohol. I want it not to be necessary to stop. But I know that it is.

MrMeanour Wed 30-Oct-13 19:51:00

Hello to you both smile I am really hoping this is going to be an ongoing super supportive all round fabulous thread for us all. The one thing we all have in common so far is that none of us seem to be able to moderate. It has always seemed that I'm on my own - but clearly not. Thank you Mildred for starting this. I feel more content and sort of 'safe' already

Congrats Enid! Hope you're enjoying your tea & cake thlgrin

Hello new people smile.

Do you mind if I ask about the bad experience on the BB thread? Don't say if you'd rather not.

I have been thinking, I think with the AA users on here it's only a matter of time before a certain (namechanging) poster shows up to warn you all of the evils of AA. The regular brainwashing & abuse of new members that apparently goes on there, that I never saw in my 18months of experience, and that it is a cult about to suck your personality until you are devoid of self lol. Anyway, thought I'd warn you about this person in advance. I have no idea if this person is a regular MNer or someone who trawls the net looking for AA discussions. I've gone head to head with them in the past but they simply won't have it that putting people off is far more dangerous than anything some weak tea & a room full of sober alkies could be.

BrokenEggshells Wed 30-Oct-13 20:32:10

Some of what you say rings bells Sorcha in that I cope day-to-day fine and get done what needs to be done but also the struggling to remember things you've said or done when drinking. I think that's the one thing that has frightened me and then the awful anxiety the next day in case I have said or done something stupid. Is your dh stopping also?

BrokenEggshells Wed 30-Oct-13 20:33:46

grin I've seen posts from that one before Oops

Well done Enid I must have missed that

Sorcha1966 Wed 30-Oct-13 20:46:01

No brokeneggshells at the moment he's not. I say he's a heavy drinker - and he is, but he doesn't have that compulsion thing like I do. And he is able to stop after a glass or two much easier than I. He doesn't think I have a problem really, but he is supportive of my wish to be dry. He has not bought any alcohol into the house this week and will not drink in front of me If I prefer him not to.

I cannot do AA. Or will not. I live in a very small place (very rural) and my exH (who was a drug addict & alcoholic) is a committed AA member. He still goes there though I know for a fact he still does drugs. Other meetings are too far away to be realistic on a regular basis.

One of my issues recognising that I am an alcoholic is that I was never like him . (my Ex H) He would drink early in the morning, drink to oblivion, be aggressive and violent to me and the children; he lost jobs due to alcohol etc etc.

Those of you who have been alcohol free for ages, what made the decision for you to stop drinking? I find your stories really helpful

Sorcha, I was sick & tired of being sick & tired. I thought my marriage was in danger which it was but stopping hasn't actually changed that sadly, although we're still living together. I started to lose whole weekends by drinking then hungover then doing it all over again. I am/was high functioning - I have a good job, take care of the family etc but I would then take to my bed for entire days so as to not inflict myself on the family when drinking & one of my last big binges before my 6month sobriety I drank in the morning and liked it which scared me very much.

I'm 44 and completely accept that I drink alcoholically. I don't really even mind admitting to that amongst people I trust. The only people who don't know are colleagues. Just didn't think it would be sensible to mention it there! grin

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 20:58:14

Hi Sorcha!
Hi Weregoingtothezoo!

I am a bit awed by the length and breadth of experience on here. How many sober years between you all? Gosh.

I didn't go to AA for a long time after I started vaguely thinking about it. My reasons were:

I didn't want to do anything which implied I could never drink. I was hanging on to a "one or two will be alright" idea.
I didn't want anyone to recognise me.
I am generally socially anxious and it can take me a while to work up to things.
I am busy working and with small children so it isn't that easy to fit things in.
I didn't want to tell anyone I was going.

the main one was the first, if I am honest.
The last one - I just didn't tell anyone I was going. Easy.

Now I have been to a few I wouldn't talk about it in the impassioned way that some do, I haven't met any soul mates there (or made any actual friends there in fact). but I do find it useful to be in a place where you can see the vast variety of people who have drink problems and have decided to do something about it. There is no type. that is extremely refreshing.

I used to worry about I would say to someone who would quiz me about AA - "I don't see someone like you there!" "What do you say?" "What do you get out of it?" In theory you should be able to do what you want and let that sort of thing run off you like water off a duck. In practice I always take questioning to heart and it does affect me. It is easier for me not to tell anyone things I don't want to justify or explain.

It's good to have fellowship in whatever form and this group online is already a fellowship to me, so thank you for that.

powellct Wed 30-Oct-13 21:20:34

I've put some sporadic posts on here and a couple of other threads, but (whisper it) - I'm a bloke. Can I still participate?
For the record I was a 30+ units/day drinker, now 3.5 years dry. I tried AA but it didn't suit me, I use (and am part of the Big Team in the UK) SMART Recovery. I run SR meetings on a Wednesday night. I'll also put on record that SMART don't [shouldn't] have any issues with any other recovery program - if ti suits you, you go for it, its your recovery.
Anyroadup, I'm here if that's OK - if not I shall shuffle off and weep quietly in a corner ;-)
Colin

youretoastmildred Wed 30-Oct-13 21:27:28

Hi powellct. the SMART stuff sounds interesting, I didn't know about it but sort of assumed it was a kind of pay-for, get-referral-from-dr type counselling programme. I am interested in stuff you can do online, there is only one AA meeting a week I can get to (and I missed it today). Do you do online stuff or real life stuff?

Weegiemum, come and check in when you get a minute. I know it is your family dinner tonight and am sending you good vibes to be sober and happy.

Maybe I need to clarify- when I said that fellowship bashing wasn't allowed in smart meetings I didn't mean that they were fundamentally against fellowships. In my experience many people find smart when AA/NA hasn't worked for them so there can be some negativity about it by people in the room but the smart ethos is certainly that whatever works, works, it's your choice.

lifesgreatquestions Wed 30-Oct-13 21:38:53

Hi, I just wanted to say what a great thread. drank to much on and off for about 9 years. I know that shame and guilt. For me pregnancy finally sorted me out. It's been about a year. I still have times when I have a craving but itdoesn't taste or feel as good anyone. Just wanted to wish everyone luck.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 21:39:33

Lots of new faces, hi all!

This is coming to the end of Day 2. Here's wot I said on Monday evening:

" I've not drunk for one day, possibly last week. For two days? Some time last month. 3 days consecutively? I really can't recall."
So roughly it was sometime early Oct I think that I last went 2 days. 3 days would have been some time in summer.

OF course there is detail missing. Most mornings I have woken v groggy and the first words I thought, and said, were " I hate you ". And meant it, as a start to the day. I've squandered time and money and feelings and effort and me. I've squandered large parts of me and my life. Missed work about 6 times this year making 'virus' excuses. Slowed considerably in the afternoons. On way home worked out how long it will be before I can open a bottle. Even sometimes at work when I was talking to someone about something sensitive for them, I have been calculating. No-one wants to actually be this person, do they?

powellct Wed 30-Oct-13 21:46:44

Nope, its free (other than we do ask for a donation if you can spare it at F2F meetings to cover the tea and biscuits).
Its generally all peer led (unless you're already registered with a partnership Service Provider) - so its people in (or seeking) recovery talking with people in (or seeking) recovery. A facilitator just leads the group really. If the dynamics are working well we just sit back and guide where necessary. We follow a format of a check-in (but its not compulsory - you can just listen) then the group set the agenda of the points they want to work on - for example several people may find they've had strong cravings, so the group may decide to work on Coping with Urges. Or there may be something that's proving a trigger (Christmas is starting to crop up at Check-In here), so they may decide to look at how to cope with special occasions.
SR works on the thought processes behind using, so you may find yourself in a meeting with someone using heroin, or with eating problems, or gambling - whatever.
Online meetings take the form of voice chat, or some people without microphones type. It follows the same format as a F2F meeting, and they run Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. I know the guys that run them personally, and they're all in recovery from various things, and all very good.
More info a www.smartrecovery.org.uk (UK) or www.smartrecovery.org (US). You'll find Americans on the UK site, and Brits (like me) on both!

It may or may not suit you - try everything, you may fall to another 12-step program, or even something like Intuitive Recovery (the next one I'm going to investigate just for my own knowledge). Remember, its your recovery, you own it.

If you want some general, unstructured, support, you could do worse than try the www.brighteyecounselling.co.uk forum.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 22:05:10

I think I need a Thread Spreadsheet.grin I'm feeling a bit rude in not keeping a grasp of who is doing what and where they are, but I'm only getting to read and post in the mornings and then chiseling out time in the evenings, whilst the thread gallops on in between times.....

FranTan Wed 30-Oct-13 22:07:47

For anyone struggling, here is my experience. On phone so please excuse typos...

Heavy drinker since teen which continued through university and into twenties. Addictive personality (previous eating disorder, recreational drug user etc). By mid twenties completely dependent and a daily drinker. Depressed and always on the sick. By late twenties I was drinking in the morning. At 27 I hit bottom. Too paranoid to do anything or face anyone. Shook my way to the shops every morning to buy the booze. Had tried self-regulating, cbt, addiction clinics, religion. Nothing worked.
Dp staged intervention with aid of friends which resulted in my first proper attempt to get sober. Did a few AA meetings. Wasnt ready.
One morning I realised I couldn't continue. I was hallucinating and going insane. Last drink was 3 dec 2005. Retuned to AA convinced I couldn't do it but knew this was it. Totally surrendered and detoxed at home, narrowly avoiding section.
The early days are tough. I just couldn't comprehend howI ccould live without drink. It was my very being. I had to take it so slowly and I was so so very scared. I also had to make things simple and learn some new rules on how to live cos I didnt have a clue.
Life now is so much better. I honestly do not want to drink and have not wanted to for some time. Sure life gets in the way sometimes. But thats ok. Am here for anyone who needs help or a hand to hold.

BrokenEggshells Wed 30-Oct-13 22:11:14

Interesting powellct as I actually signed up to it today but it's a bit over my head at present. I've checked and there are no face to face meetings near me.

One of my ex's is also an alcoholic Sorcha and involved in the alcohol scheme here which is another reason why I wouldn't seek help here. I know what you mean by measuring it to that yardstick as he was a morning and all-day drinker, affects his health massively and been in and out of rehab a few times but still boozing. To me my drinking seemed like nothing in comparison. I'm glad your dh is being so supportive.

I feel similar Mildred in that I keep things close to my chest and don't want to have to justify things to other people. Maybe there will come a time when I do feel comfortable about it but for the mean time no.

powellct Wed 30-Oct-13 22:11:31

I can relate to all that.

FranTan Wed 30-Oct-13 22:35:10

We have a bloke? Marvellous!

I would just like to add that taking it one step at a time is crucial and you can't fix everything at once. Sometimes it feels like one step forwards and two back. Hang in there.

I really like inclusive threads with different methods of recovery. I appreciate that AA isn't for everyone and forgive my AA isms. You can spot us a mile off! smile

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 22:52:32

From what I read Sorcha, Eggs, Mr and me are somewhere around the same points ie v early days/pre-contemplatative for Socha? Have I missed anyone sorry if so. Will admit to being quite startled by the real long termers. MASSIVE respect.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 22:58:10

Am seeing another friend on tomorrow, who will be assuming I will be drinking at some stage, though she doesn't. She will note this and ask. Plan to have exactly the same conversation as I did with first friend last night.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 23:18:27

I'd said somewhere up thread that I'd under-reported. A bit of last night with friend was taking stock. I'd conveniently dismissed large parts of what I should have been talking of re volumes. Way way too much, swathing thoughtlessly into health-damaging amounts. Trying to make up for it in the morning with fluids and carbohydrates, before recommencing later in the day.

Lovedaysthename Wed 30-Oct-13 23:20:32

It has been shit-filled.

lovemenot Wed 30-Oct-13 23:25:39

This is an excellent article, hope it helps.....

www.sossobriety.org/factors.htm

Sorcha1966 Wed 30-Oct-13 23:36:08

I am too scared to plan anything. I am literally going from day to day - and in the late afternoon/evening from hour to hour, not drinking. I want not to drink. I was pleased when I woke up this morning with a clear head, and I will be tomorrow too, I have a vague plan for tomorrow which enables me to not drink....

one step/hour/day at a time...

powellct Thu 31-Oct-13 06:13:03

FranTan and others are right - at times it can be literally 10 minutes at a time while you're climbing the walls trying not to drink. My philosophy once I'd actually made 3 days dry (for the first time in c.25 years) became "I'm alright today". No further. But please do persevere - it does get so much better! Life still sucks at times (oh, so so much) but it sucks a lot more when you're dribbling on the sofa unable to speak coherently.
And FranTan - you keep on with your "AA-isms", I'll crack on with my rational thinking stuff, and between us people will take enough away to hopefully get better!
I'm sharing a stage with Mark Gilman next month of Public Health England - a dedicated 12-stepper - and we both share the same destination, we just use different paths.
A word to the carbs - don't go mad on the sugar, or at least make sure you're topping up with B vits at the same time, particularly B1.
Oh, and DO seek medical advice if you're drinking is really heavy - managed withdrawal my be a preferred option. It can be dangerous in some cases to stop cold turkey (but that's not an excuse to carry on as before!).
If you don't want to speak to your GP, do Google "local drug and alcohol team" (DAT) - they've seen it all before and are incredibly supportive.

BrokenEggshells Thu 31-Oct-13 07:07:11

Why not too much sugar powell? I'm curious as I remember when my previous neighbours stopped drinking with antiabuse they drank loads of lucozade instead, which I'm sure is packed full of sugar. I would get loads of sugar cravings every time I stop drinking (or smoking for that matter) but I do take a multi-vitamin every day which contains all the B vitamins.

I did the opposite Loveday in that after drinking I don't feel hungry the next day. Fill up on coffee until dinner-time. Have always noticed my appetite is far better when I'm not drinking. Yesterday I did nothing but eat but felt very virtuous having loads of veg too. Have lost far too much weight lately. Always bordered on the underweight mark but went down a bit further recently and it concerned me because if I get sick I have nothing to fall back on.

Good article lovemenot. I actually have read that before when I was writing a paper on alcoholism a couple of years back.

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 07:34:30

good morning all! Fancy - all this activity overnight without me grin Tut!! I have skipped through posts and will catch up later but have to tell you all what i did last night - basically I was glued to 'My name is...' by Alistair Campbell. PLEASE read it everyone !! I haven't finished it yet but oh my goodness, it is superb - it may be ostensibly about a teenage girl but clearly he's done his homework and I understand had his own drink demons. It is very insightful indeed. Right, ready to start the day after my evangelisising! sober day to all grin

powellct Thu 31-Oct-13 08:10:33

BrokenEggshells - as drinkers we have reduced thiamine levels. It takes time to build them up again. Glucose (as sugars are metabolised to) burns up any remaining stocks of thiamine, which leads to an increased risk of Wernicke's Syndrome, so when you go into treatment the first thing they generally give you is a big shot of B-vits. In the bum.
It IS only a risk, but when we stop the body's working hard enough trying to get over everything else, so its not something I wanted to chance. Thankfully my memory has come back now, but in the first 12 months I was all over the place. Emotional too.....

More here under "treatment", if you feel up to trusting Wiki.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernicke's_encephalopathy
Also watch out for PAWS.... ;-)

BrokenEggshells Thu 31-Oct-13 08:40:04

Thanks powell. Thankfully although I'm not a huge eater at times, I do eat healthily with a good variety in my diet. One of the plus sides to having two young kids to feed I suppose. Would eat a lot of mixed beans, meat and nuts so hopefully my thiamine levels wouldn't be too bad. Will take the warning and cut down on the sugary stuff though smile

Lovedaysthename Thu 31-Oct-13 08:53:48

Morning All,

Eggs - funny that isn't it? I would do coffee too, but by about 2 hrs of being awake I'd be ravenous. Sometimes I'd tell myself I need a bit more alcohol (to take an edge off) and at the weekend this would happen.
lovemenot I saved your article last night - too tired to read. One for today. And this being the third planned day as adverse to thirs 'rest' day. Within 7 mins walk there are 4 alcohol outlets, and I am walking past them all. Except the Tesco express where I go in and avoid the section I wish to avoid.

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 09:24:32

Update for who's where (at work and trying to put off writing a massive communications strategy for a board meeting grin):

youretoastmildred - 45 days
Me, Lovedaysthename, Sorcha, Eggs, oopsupsideyourhead, weegiemum very new smile
powellect, lifesgreeatquestions, Frantan, weregoingtothezoo, enidcoleslaw,beeyump old hands !!!!

I know I've missed a couple out. PLease add yourselve.

BrokenEggshells Thu 31-Oct-13 09:51:31

I've done the same Lovedays. Weekends the kids aren't here I would occasionally get up and after my two coffees, have a couple of glasses of wine and go back to bed. Not so much now mind you (normally wait until after lunch) but it's not totally unheard of. Sounds really bad admitting it but I figure we are amongst friends here smile

This is my free weekend so I know it'll be a challenge being the first weekend off the drink too. Am planning to do a lot of cooking as it's the one thing I really enjoy but don't get much time to do anymore. Have some books downloaded to my kindle to get stuck into as well. Could do with gutting the house but know wine was always my 'reward' after doing it so might just cover the basics.

You get back to work Mr grin

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 09:52:44

booo sad wink

youretoastmildred Thu 31-Oct-13 10:21:14

powellct, good to hear that things were tricky for 12 months. (Sorry if that sounds brutal, I don't mean to retrospectively wish 12 months of pain on you) I think I have been too impatient expecting to bounce back immediately. The lack of energy I have been feeling has really been getting me down, because when I used to drink heavily I felt a huge rush of energy if I took 2 days off. Now I have had 45 I want 20 times that, or at least something equivalent, and up to now it has just not been happening!

Still, today I am feeling more up than for ages. More energy than usual, which I think is partly psychological to do with good changes at work. Work has been locked into a very stale place for a while and the sense of things moving and changing is very refreshing.

dd2 was playing silly buggers far too early this morning and even that didn't get me down. When you have a hangover and a 2 year old is saying in pitch darkness "mummy, is wakey time, I turn light on" - that is really not a good place to be. Without a hangover, it hasn't killed my day. I mean, I don't love it, but...

I think I have a lot of work to do. I have been conscious for a while (I am 42) that I am hung up on a lot of crap I should have grown out of. That was one of the points in the link that lovemenot sent last night (thank you!) Now I am free to get on with it.

Have a good day, all. I also have lots of actual work to do...

Beeyump Thu 31-Oct-13 10:25:03

Good morning grin
I must stop skiving work and being glued to mumsnet now, bah. But it's nice to nip in and see everyone. I hope that we all have a peaceful day.

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 10:28:21

The first thing I always notice is more energy - even if it just means I can tackle cleaning some rooms or run a tiny bit further. And waking up feeling 'ok' - never 'brilliant', not at my age, but ok!

Yes, I'm doing this pigging strategy...

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 10:46:04

okay. Have a bit of space this morning.

After today I will be moving into unknown territory, at least unknown for me for quite a few years. Here's my plan of sorts:
- keep posting
-keep reading everyone else's posts, but especially my own. They are me.
- avoid any stress-inducing circs. as much as possible.(tricky)
- stay totally engaged in whatever I am doing.
- talk to family and friends as the situation arises.
- get some multi-vits and invest in fruit and veg.
- up the exercise levels to ensure I am pleasantly flattened by the evening.
- try to keep a marker on how I am feeling.
- keep repeating "No-one ever woke up regretting that they didn't drink the night before".

Not sure at all about this day-counting thing now. It seems to go against the principles of mindfulness?

venusandmars Thu 31-Oct-13 10:51:44

Just dropping in to say 'well done' to all of you who are making this journey, and to give you my support. I am a long-term non-drinker (and a long-term poster on the brave babes thread smile).

All I can say is that however you get your support, whether AA,SMART recovery, medication, or a thread like this, it IS worth the struggle. What worked best for me was to have active plans: knowing what I would order to drink when I went out (and having a back up request too, just in case there was no lime / soda / coffee) knowing how I would answer people if I was every questioned about not drinking; planning how to avoid being hungry or thirsty, have along list of activities to distract me if I was bored, or lonely, or tired; a couple of well practiced approaches for dealing with overwhelming emotions; a lots of new ways to 'reward' myself and be kind to myself, and to celebrate which don't involve alcohol.

And so gradually hour by hour, day by day and eventually year by year I remain sober.

Hello, haven't got time to read all the posts at the moment, but just wanted to say count me in smile.

I'm coming up to 90 days, and am doing my amends at the moment (Steps 8/9).

Everything they say in the AA promises is true: before you're halfway, miracles WILL begin to happen. I've learnt to drive! I like where I live! The way I look! DP's trust has returned. I have a cunning plan for The Rest Of My Life in terms of career etc. And I am revelling in the DCs.

Hang in there laydeez. It works if you work it, so work it, you're worth it wink.

Will read posts properly later x

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 11:37:27

Not only in the AA promises smile Many other methods of staying sober on this thread too. Well done on 90 days!!

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 13:54:49

The AA promises that StinkingBishop is referring to is a particular bit of the big book Mrmeanour which falls after the part about step 9. That's not to say that other methods of recovery won't promise a much improved life (I'm certain they will and do) but 'the AA promises' are a specific 'thing' and have a very special place in aa and are read in many meetings.

Well done SB -it's amazing how things change eh? I had an experience last night where afterwards I realised I'd intuitively handled something that in the past would have just knocked me for 6. We will be amazed before we're halfway through smile

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 14:02:42

I remember them! I still a copy of the Big Book and daily gratitudes and a couple of others. Sometimes I flick through them.

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 14:07:46

One of the things that angers and frustrates me is the 'treat' aspect of alcohol and the whole jokey culture. This 'wine shortage' for example is bringing out all sorts of amusing comments and statuses on fb etc. It's sad that I cannot feel the same about a 'glass' of wine. I hate being like this. I really do sad Wishing I was like everyone else isn't going to make it happen though.

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 14:08:23

Hmmm, it seems a bit dismissive or something then. I don't really see that it's necessary to say "there's many other methods!" anytime someone mentions a good experience in AA. SB didn't say that was the only way, but just seemed to be sharing (and quite joyfully so) their own experience.

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 14:10:46

I was just thinking exactly that about the wine shortage chat Mr. Also the offering of wine whenever someone has a problem - some people don't drink!
Wine wasn't a treat for me by the end - that was a lie. I am genuinely glad I am an alcoholic these days - recovery has enriched my life so massively.

youretoastmildred Thu 31-Oct-13 14:13:46

I know what you mean about the jokey wine culture but I find it a bit silly and tragic in some contexts.
I work in quite a boozy industry and (even before stopping drinking) find it quite cringey when middle aged adults make arch references to "the pub" to "decisions made after a few" somehow implying that buying people drinks and making them drunk will influence them to do what you want... these people are adults, not 16 year olds excited at this strange new drug. It makes them all look a bit pathetic and craven if they really are boredly putting up with the hours of daylight they have to get through before they are allowed to run joyfully to the pub and drink with gay abandon. Which some of them probably are, and they should GET REAL

(sorry to be so pompous!)

youretoastmildred Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:52

Also, I suppose, these "jokes" are positioned as if the people making them think they are being terribly transgressive, whereas actually at this point in our lives it is the people who do what they need to do sober, and get what they need or want to get out of these social occasions, and then fuck off to have a life, who are the free-thinkers, rather than the hive-minders leaning on the bar talking crap all night.

I know I know, I am doing a brainwashing job on myself, but it's all in a good cause ;)

When I gave up smoking someone told me that you start because you think all the cool people are doing it, and at a certain point you realise that only the saddos are still doing it

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 14:27:15

Yes, saddo here. I usually smoke when I drink (so that's been just about everyday). Oddly I've still been smoking since Tuesday. Next item on the list....

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 14:30:43

Started smoking again recently. Will stop again I'm sure. There's worse things, for me.

youretoastmildred Thu 31-Oct-13 14:32:18

Sorry, I didn't mean to be all anti-smoking. Or call anyone a saddo! Yep, there are far worse things.

Hi Venus, thanks for popping in to say hello! How long is it since you stopped drinking? (if you don't mind me asking)

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 14:35:32

Slight tease going on there mildred! One cues another for me (And lots of other people?) so if I don't have the 'cue' I wouldn't be desiring the follow up fag. I like my coffee. That is staying!

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 14:38:19

You can call me a saddo! Smoking is RANK! Deal with your addictions in the order they'll kill you though. I just can't believe I started again after stopping for ages - what a numpty.

powellct Thu 31-Oct-13 14:40:25

For those of you that may struggle - and having a structured plan is most excellent - when a life situation grabs you and you want a drink, ask yourself (truthfully) what you think it will achieve - and what you think the fallout will be. If you REALLY consider that having a drink will put everything right, could you share that thought process here?

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 14:51:34

powellct - The pedal crank arm on my bike fell off. I had a set back on my job in the house. My i-phone broke.
All of these things happened yesterday. Any one of those things could have been an invite to have a snifter in 'recompense' and they would have remained broken. Minor stuff of course but really irritating.
On pumpkin-carving duties this evening. Will be the best pumpkin ever.

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:59:56

Today I went into our nearest town for some errands. I am not working today. I picked up some nice things for me and DH for lunch. Usually I would have, without even thinking ,added 2 or 4 bottles of wine to the basket.

Today I did not.

I could smell it, taste it, feel the feeling of calm that comes over me after the first glass, But I thought ahead to when the kids come home and mum has had a bottle; and later when I'm 1/2 way down the second bottle and falling asleep on the sofa (DH hates that); and tomorrow when my head would hurt a and I would hate myself.

And I did not buy any wine.

sorry I have nothing to give at the moment. I'm absorbed in this struggle. I am reading and thinking of you all. Its HARD. today was hard but I did it. Now I am home and there is no alcohol. so I am ok for now

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 15:11:23

Sorcha - that's the sort of stuff I want to read.

I know I am not having too much to offer, but I'm trying to focus on me and what I am doing, and not doing - like a self-absorbed toddler maybe.grin

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 15:17:52

Well done Sorcha grin

Please keep slapping me down when I go all anti AA, it's a reflex and I really don't mean to be horrible. sad I don't want to ignore AA posts, I need to retrain my brain to deal with them and appreciate that people have positive and good experiences in AA. I'm so sorry.

Smoking - well that is a chequered history for me too. Gave up for years, restarted and am now on my zillionth attempt - and 4 months in this time. Determined this will be it - running helps!

lovemenot Thu 31-Oct-13 15:51:49

HALT - hungry, angry, lonely, tired..... anytime you feel the urge to drink, ask yourself the HALT questions first. By the time you have figured out exactly what you are feeling, the immediate urge will have passed.

Here's the link again to WFS - women for sobriety, in case anyone wants to browse their site. Like AA, this will work for some and not for others. For me, it saved my life.

www.womenforsobriety.org/beta2/

powellct Thu 31-Oct-13 16:15:24

Sorcha - well done you! It IS hard in the early stages, but bit by bit it gets easier until you wonder what was all about. I still get urges, every now and then, but nothing bad.
Smokes (21 months) still get me sometimes....

BrokenEggshells Thu 31-Oct-13 19:24:03

I'm going to go all me, me, me but I am seriously struggling today. I know it's all associations. I was fine in the supermarket this morning bypassing the alcohol section but it was later when littliest one has gone for three nights and soon as she left I thought 'drink'. Then there's the Halloween night association, along with a bit of stress I had early regarding money. Dad asked me if I was going to theirs later and I had to say no as I know they will have a drink on the go and always have a bottle available to take home.

I've been having a constant battle in my head all night. Sure I can start some other time kind of thing? It would be so easy for me to take the two minute walk to their house. I feel pathetic as it's only my second day and I'm already bargaining in my head. Still here though. Big deep breaths needed.

I considered the day counting also Loveday but then I thought for the meantime it will useful to see how far I've come.

Wine shortage? Did I miss something? I must admit I'm considering deactivating my fb for a short period of time. I don't know if I need to see all about my friends drinking. I know I will have to face it eventually but just for the initial period it might make it easier for me. I have told two people I'm off the drink for the foreseeable future. Just said I wasn't enjoying it anymore which is the truth. No doubt they probably think I'm pregnant again or something grin

I'm also a smoker and I agree it's a vile habit. Thought about giving it up at the same time as I find it easier to stop drinking when I'm quitting smoking as I know the two go hand-in-hand but decided not to put myself under too much pressure.

I agree Mildred I have some issues from my past I know I need to work through. I also know a lot of my drinking stems from anxiety and depression. It's the vicious cycle of alcohol that seems to help but puts you two steps backwards really.

Well done for today Sorcha

Hi thlsmile

A quick post from me because it's been a long day. I do have an urge tonight but I've addressed hungry, I'm not angry, I'm not lonely but I am tired. Not much I can do about the last one other than get an early night, I'm usually in bed by ten anyway so only two & a bit hours to go.

Those of you struggling tonight - just put one foot in front of the other & well done so far. So true that no-one ever woke up in the morning wishing they'd have a skinful the night before!

I didn't know about the sugar thing in fact it was recommended to me that eating sweets was good for alleviating urges.

weregoingtothezoo Thu 31-Oct-13 20:09:32

Being called an old hand is really quite amazing - me, the chronic relapser who nearly lost everything, yes, I am doing this sobriety thing. It's great to see so many others so real with thoughts and doubts and feelings about this need to live sober/clean.

I've been thinking about why I don't go back to AA. Part of it may well be pride. Part of it that what I'm doing is working - I'm not drinking and I don't often think about it these days. And the other part is just how draining it was to talk about the problem all the time when you can talk about the solution. Sure, we all need to talk about things sometimes, and that includes our current struggles and our past behaviour, but focusing on that does me no good. My solution, which is a revealed God, who has the power over alcohol where I lack it, is where I keep my focus.

That's not to say I don't believe I'm an alcoholic - I do, I have proved that to myself and others beyond a shadow of a doubt. It's just that there is so much else to what makes me me. There are excellent support groups for ITU survivors, which help with the particular difficulties of life after critical illness, especially in the first year or two. But I'm not just an ITU survivor.

The broadest and most beautiful thing that I am - these are my beliefs, I hope it's ok to share them - is a child of God. So the place I need to be to help me get well is with others who believe that.

That said, there are uses to places like this which is why I'm here, I do also go to the ITU-survivors group occasionally, and other 'label' groups that I fit into.

Thank you for listening, those that have, and I hope you all have a happy sober evening whatever your plans are.

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:10:58

brokeneggshells I know that feeling - the wavering after a day if two - the bargaining -( If I just have ON drink tonight that'll be ok etc etc) I think you know, like me that abstinence is the ONLY way. And that it will get easier..

If looking at the whole evening is too much, then just concentrate on the next 1/2 hour. make a cup of tea or a cup-a-soup. Do something with your hands.

Don't pick up a drink. Remember how shit you will feel tomorrow morning if you do. I know its hard. But it IS possible

big un MN hugs,

Sorcha

My DH and youngest DC have gone out for Hallowe'en tonight. They are both a bit upset with me that I didn't. I knew if I did I would drink. I cant rink and this is the first time I have prioritized MY recovery, my need not to drink, above others wishes.

Enidcoleslaw Thu 31-Oct-13 20:13:19

Brokeneggshells and oops, you're doing really well, I find just getting the thought out there (grassing myself up!) really helps and also playing the tape to the end. Don't focus on the imagined comfort of the first drink, think about where it'll end up. It IS hard, but get through tonight and you'll wake up tomorrow glad you didn't do it.

How's things now?

This is a quote I really like its from an Elizabeth kubler Ross book

"change...usually begins with a door closing, an ending, a completion, a loss, a death. Then we enter an uncomfortable period, mourning this completion and living in the uncertainty of what is next. This period is hard.

But just when we feel we can't take it anymore, something new emerges: a reintegration, a reinvestment, a new beginning. A door opens. If you fight change, you will be fighting your whole life. That's why we need to find a way to embrace change, or at least to accept it.

Through aspiring to accept life on life's terms we begin to move from feeling like a victim and blaming the world around us."

Early sobriety is "living in the uncertainty of what's next" and it IS hard. But it's the beginning of something amazing, or at least it has been for me.

BrickorCleat Thu 31-Oct-13 20:17:11

Hi I just wanted to pop in and say you are all amazing and I'd have given anything for posts like this when I gave up five years ago.

It's hard. But honestly, the peace that comes from the cessation of That Voice is immeasurable.

You'll have so much space to think. Sometimes that's more painful than other times. But it's always constructive.

Sobriety is the best gift I ever gave myself and my children .

I will come back if you think it useful to hear my experience, but I will say that there are different ways for everyone to stop drinking; you will find what works for you if you are serious about wanting to re-engage with life.

If not, there are just as many excuses.

You all sound like good, brave, determined people.

Being sober means I really like myself. It's a brand new feeling, even after five years.

sorry I have nothing to give at the moment. I'm absorbed in this struggle

That's all you should be giving. Put EVERYTHING into the struggle. The rewards are infinite.

I sound a bit unhinged, sorry. It's just such a privilege hearing these stories and knowing how much lovelier your lives will get.

The very best of luck to you all.

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:42:09

I am really afraid of what will happen to my relationship with DH if i don't drink. He is / has been tolerant of my drinking. Very rarely in 6 years has he told me that I drink too much. Most of those times have been in the last year. He gets cross when I fall asleep at 7 pm on Saturday evening because I have been drinking all day; and he gets cross if I am really really drunk - doesn't happen that often - ( last was July 2013 - time before that was Jubilee street party I think)

But, aside from that, he enjoys a drink. We enjoy drinking together. We enjoy cooking together and drinking nice wine. we enjoy going out to concerts and having a beer, we enjoy watching movies with a bottle or two or wine.. Drinking is part of 'us'. DH has taken DC3 out this evening to a local Hallowe'en gathering. Normally we would both get a bit pissed. Thats normal for us.

when we met I was (quite) recently separated. I had 3 DC 9,5 and 2... he would come over after they were in bed and we would sit up and drink and talk all night...

so how will it be if I don't drink? what will I drink if we are out for lunch ? will I get annoyed if he is drinking a lot ? will I get upset with him if he drinks when I cannot? will he stick by me when I feel I cannot 'do' stuff because the temptation to drink is too strong and I need to protect myself?

feel very anxious; clear headed, I know i have to do this - either now or next week or next month. It WILL come to this as I have gone too far to be able to drink moderately - I know that i cant do that and have proved it SO so often. i need to do this before something bad happens..

So far I have 'got away' with it. But I am so conscious of the knife edge I am teetering on. And one false move - one small error could have catastrophic consequences. Eg I do not consciously drink and drive - I would never get n the car after a couple of glasses of wine; but I KNOW that on some "mornings after" I have been over the driving limit. One small thing, little accident, even if its not my fault - and its a DD charge, I would be reported to my professional body and might lose my job ( pretty likely actually as they would find out how much I drink) then I would have no income and we would soon lose our home... the shame - everyone would know in our small Community. My relationship with my husband would suffer. All so scary.

And all because I cant stop drinking ? I Have a CHOICE

My health is precarious. I know this. I had abnormal liver function tests 2 years ago. I am too afraid to have them done again. But I am afraid that if I cant stop now I will end up in hospital, and again everyone will know. Maybe I will die from drinking If I cant stop. If not soon then in the end. How sad for my kids.

sorry for the stream of consciousness. I need to be in contact with others tonight - thank you for being there and I hope you are all ok

Sorcha x

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 20:44:07

Brikor Congratulations on managing this - it still feels very new and quite hard for me - I would love to hear your story -

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 20:48:58

Oh Sorcha - I completely understand what you mean. When I have my alcohol free times, I get a bit pissed off with dh drinking - he too, likes to drink socially, and it can be hard to want one, or wonder what to do and drink. I won;t lie - I think most times I have started again is because I've looked at him and thought sod it, he can drink so can I!! He is never judgmental about my not drinking and encourages me to stay off as knows what it does to me! Hopefully your dh will be the same. As soon as you become that lovely person who isn't in a state through drinking, who doesn't fall asleep early - all of those things, he will be behind you 100%. It will so be worth it. I have been lucky somehow and my liver function and all other health checks have always been pretty perfect (how!!??) but it can't last. Keep at it, however hard it seems right now, we're all in it with you x

MrMeanour Thu 31-Oct-13 20:51:03

And I have just finished 'My name Is...' and I am putting it on this threads compulsory reading book list! You will all totally relate to it, I promise.

youretoastmildred Thu 31-Oct-13 20:56:09

Come in, Weegiemum, do you read me. Come in Weegiemum!

Sorcha, I worry like that too. I worried more in the very very early days because we fought like cats and dogs. Booze was a part of our relationship and I, in a doomy way, thought: can we relate without it?
Now I think we can, in a different way, and finding it will take a bit of time and shuffling about, but:
leaving things as they were was not an option, for me, apart from my relationship;
not even the relationship was really honestly benefitted by the falseness and stuntedness that is a part of being so out of it so much of the time. It isn't like we never fought when I was pissed (hollow laughter). And I hope that the better person I can be will be a better person at all relationships too.

I am feeling very positive about all that these days. We love each other. But - like realising that social occasions you can only stand pissed aren't worth going to, are relationships that only run on semi-oblivion worth having?

well done for prioritising your recovery tonight. the more you do that now the sooner you will be able to give back more fully.

Brokeneggshells - well done for fighting the demons, keep going, and keep talking. My family are killer too. Still dreading the weekend. Still working on strategy in my head.

Yes brickorcleat, please tell us about your experience

drinking tea here. Love it. God's drink. yum.

have a good evening all strong non-drinkers, you x

HumOlive Thu 31-Oct-13 20:57:51

Hi. Have been following this thread since it started and can identify so much with the posters who've contributed so far.
I have had a problem with alcohol for at least 10 years. In fact since I discovered drink as a shy and self-concious teenager I have had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
I don't drink every day but practically every time I do I struggle to keep control.
At times of high anxiety and stress I have even been known to drink in the mornings.
This doesn't happen often and I seem to be capable of stopping for weeks at a time without too much problems. Then I kid myself I was over exaggerating the whole issue so start drinking in an out of control way.
Anyway, hope to contribute as well as lurking and hope I can give as well as receive comfort and support. smile

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:09:16

Hi Olive its good to see you. If you can stop drinking for weeks at a time, what makes you start again? Is it just that feeling that you 'over exaggerated' /forgetting how bad it was?

That worries me too. Last Saturday I went out with DH (kids were with their dad) and I drank (during the day say 1pm - 9pm) SEVEN pints of strong beer. Thats MUCH more units in one day than an entire weekly allowance ... I am scared I will forget how bad I felt and what that was like emotionally..

HumOlive Thu 31-Oct-13 21:37:19

Sorcha, that's exactly what happens. I kid myself into believing my problem can't be that bad if it can stop completely for weeks at a time. I am kidding myself though because the reasons I stop are because I've scared myself half to death with how bad things can get. Drinking wine in the morning as a pep up. Buying drink in the afternoons cos I'm bored then drinking till I am really drunk and have to sleep the day away.
I also have periods of controlled drinking. These usually occur during certain social situations when there is limited alcohol available.
Am ashamed to say I don't really enjoy social drinking anymore. I prefer secret drinking or getting drunk at home. sad

Sorcha1966 Thu 31-Oct-13 21:45:21

Its amazing how we forget. And not in a good way. Here is an extract form a journal entry I wrote back in April after I got drunk at a family lunch DH and I hosted. I don't remember much of the later afternoon, as I was drinking from mid-day and cooking...I went to bed at about 7 - before my children - drunk - and woke at about 2 am sweating, sick and head-achy. This is what I wrote

"Sweating, Anxious, barely slept. String suicidal thoughts, imagining hanging myself, intrusive, persistent thoughts. desperately ashamed, amnesia, what did I do, say ? alone, isolated, twisting like a fish on a hook. fear fear fear. and stuck."

I stopped drinking for 3 days after that. THREE days. I honestly wanted to kill myself because I was so ashamed, but THREE days later I was drinking again . Denial is a desperately powerful thing.

BrokenEggshells Thu 31-Oct-13 21:56:46

Welcome HumOlive. I can kind of relate in the stopping for weeks (for me very occasionally but I can do it) and thinking you mustn't have a problem if you can stop for that period of time?? Although in my case it's straight back to most nights again. I also prefer drinking at home as I always have the fear of showing myself up somehow. I think it's one of reasons I'm not going to be complacent after I get my first hardest weekend over with. I know the three weeks or so will bite me on the bum too.

I love that quote Enid as I can identify so much with the feeling of loss and the uncertainty almost of who I am without booze in my life? Looking forward I'm not sure what I see yet.

I also would like to hear your story BrickorCleat

Thanks Mildred. I know it's so difficult when your family are drinkers and expect you to be drinking also. How do you think you will play it at your get-together?

Not to down-play things Sorcha but sometimes after a session most people can have abnormal liver function tests. I only know this as my ex had one one time, he told the doctor he was partying at the weekend and the doctor said that can happen, got retested and it was fine. Did you ever go for a follow-up one?? Your diary entry is very raw and one I think we can all see ourselves in. That guilt and shame the next day is horrendous.

HumOlive Thu 31-Oct-13 23:32:57

Sorcha, I have had elevated liver function tests taken straight after a weekend binge on vodka. It was a few years back but I had them done as part of a screening to take part in a small medical research trial. The trial itself was completely unrelated to alcohol.
My results were were very abnormal, especially something called a GGT.
Anyway, after not drinking for a week and having further blood tests, my liver function tests, (all of them) were completely normal.

I have also made a complete arse of myself in the homes of family and friends as well as at home in the company of guests.
Have also done the passing out and going to bed before the kids and waking up in the early hours feeling sick, anxious, ashamed, paranoid, hating myself.
It's the loneliest, worst place to be.
We can help each other here.
Goodnight all.

Lovedayisthename Thu 31-Oct-13 23:47:04

Evenin' all. Just been catching up. And massive respect for folks piping up on this thread and laying bare their current circumstances and habits. I'm sure we are all reading each others posts totally and so nothing is wasted. Thinking most of Eggs, Olive and Sorcha.

I'm looking forward to waking up again tomorrow without hating myself so much and sticking to my plans. Friend this evening didn't mention booze, and I didn't either. ( I think friend 1. has tipped off friend 2., which is fine - I've spent these last days thinking and writing and talking last night with friend 1. that I was a bit relieved tbh, Two conversations in first 3 days would be a lot for me). Tomorrow is a watershed for me as 4 days dry isn't something in recent years I can recall at all. But it is only one day.

Flumpyflumps Thu 31-Oct-13 23:51:22

Hello, I've posted on brave babes a bit but it is mainly for alcohol.
I'm an addict 2 years clean of coke, had various stumbling blocks but NA 3 times a week and have had masses of therapy over the years.
Just wanted to say that although I'm not adding anything useful here I support you all as I have first hand experience of coming out the other side.
It's not even one day at a time it's the next ten minutes sometimes.

JustLikeHeaven Fri 01-Nov-13 01:36:51

sorry cant give a proper introduction or acknowledge everyone now, but will tmrw. two weeks of no alcohol which was fine for me, as its when i am in a social setting i need alcohol. . .but tonight all the neighbours. . big big drinkers, got together and i drank tea all night. just home. husband is still there. it was hard but i am proud
of myself now. i overheard some of the women ask each other if maybe i was pregnant. . .i was asked several times why i wasnt drinking. . .asked was i sure i didn't just want a little one. knew i would hear all that and was prepared but its still so annoying. i am surrounded by heavy drinkers. I actually felt panic going over but its over now and i got through it. i had been reading this thread and thinking about it. . and you all. . really helped. god everyone i know has issues with alcohol. good night people

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 08:02:29

Well done justlikeheaven. I hope you have a lovely clear head this morning.
My skin is appalling, zit city. Are these detox zits? Is there such a thing as 46 day detox skin?
So pleased to see you all here.
Flumpy, thanks for joining. V interested to hear your story.
Loveday, special best wishes to you for today for uncharted territory day 4.
Everyone.... Those sick, sweaty early mornings can be a thing of the past.
Weegiemum?
Still here, weregoingtothezoo?
Have a great day everyone x

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 08:05:36

Wow! I went to a recovery café last night to discuss some stuff with the guy that runs it - come back to this lot! Its so encouraging to see people actually talking about their issues, and to see the support flowing - remember you're never alone in going through this.
There's a lot of stuff being posted about what other people/partners (sorry still getting used to this DH/DC etc.) think of us stopping drinking. So lets look at it in my favourite SMART Recovery way of looking at things.....
You want to stop drinking. Your significant other/your friends get a bit tetchy about it, so you cave in (lets be honest, we never need (needed) much of an excuse) and get totally wellied, with all the guilt and other ramifications that go with it. The people that wanted you to drink in the first place now take great pleasure in telling you what an arse you made of yourself the night before.
Stop - rewind the tape and have a look at what you're thinking here. You have a drink because other people want you to?? You're killing yourself to keep other people happy?? Really?? That's like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Make a list of all the things that are really important to you in your life - specific to you. DH/Kids/Cat/whatever. This is called your Hierarchy of Values - there's similar tools in a lot of CBT methods.
Where does alcohol (or sobriety) feature on that list? If you're a problem drinker (you'll note I never use the "A" word) it really needs to be right at the top, because unless you start to address it, it affects everything that you purport to be important.

Her endeth the lesson - as ever, take what you need from it, if anything.

And remember - misery is optional.

MrMeanour Fri 01-Nov-13 08:16:59

I'm still here <needy>

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 08:21:58

Hi Mr, good to see you. How are you feeling today?

Lovedayisthename Fri 01-Nov-13 08:34:29

Yes, greetings Mr , and thanks for your wishes mildred. I'm actually enjoying waking up!
Yes, my friend 1. carried a bit of worry in his voice this week, like 'if you stop drinking, where does that leave me?' So a slight invitation could be to carry on as before to make others feel comfortable and hasten my own demise. So where would that leave friend 1. then?

Off to satisfy my employer! Have good days today.

Sorcha1966 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:35:59

hi mr; how are you today ?

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 08:36:44

I remember being shocked in early recovery when I heard someone say that sobriety was more important to them than their children and came first before their children. Now I TOTALLY get that and would say the same. If I put anything else first before my recovery then I risk getting drunk again and losing all the other stuff anyway.

I am lucky in my marriage in that my husband is in recovery too, that's how we met, so we've never seen each other drunk, and hopefully a day at a time we never will.

I have no problem saying I'm an alcoholic or an addict, I'm both and there is no shame for me in admitting it. Most of my most favourite people in the world are alcoholics and addicts smile I live in the solution today, which for me is 12 step based.

I agree with everything you've suggested powellct(although I don't get the bit about using the word alcoholic/addict - can I ask why that is?) and I've heard similar advice in one way or another in meetings. Isn't it wonderful that there are all these different places people can get help? Once upon a time there was really none of this stuff and people just suffered. step 3 asks us to hand over our will and our life which I interpret as make a commitment to changing taking advice in those areas- what's our will and our life? I'd say our thinking(cognition) and behaviour.

Morning to all however you are waking up, hopefully with a clear head and no regrets from the night before but wherever you're at today remember its a new day and a fresh start and where there's life there's hope smile

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 08:47:33

Sorry that bit about step 3 doesn't make much sense, I was just musing about the similarities between the programme and cbt tools as I have done before. Look for the similarities not the differences right? smile I'm loving getting an insight into SMART it sounds like a really useful approach.

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 08:47:55

No probs - its just the program I work. We don't use labels. To my own slightly deranged mind giving myself a label or admitting I'm powerless leads me down the rocky route of giving myself an excuse to use.
Its personal choice - I have no issues with anyone calling themselves alcoholic, addict, lush, pisshead, junkie, whatever - I just choose not to.

:-)

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 08:57:27

Ah ok, see my take is that it's actually helpful to identify as an alcoholic/addict because what that means for me is that I accept that I can't have just one drink. As for being powerless I have so many experiences of trying to control or moderate and being totally unable to that that makes perfect sense to me. It also helped me to let go of a lot of the shame - I didn't do all those awful things because I'm a bad, weak person but because I am powerless over alcohol and drugs - I'll never be a social drinker or a recreational drug user because that's just not what I am.

MrMeanour Fri 01-Nov-13 09:01:19

grin good morning! Woke up feeling good. Watched the omen last night with ds13, and had a few fright moments before drifiting off grin Thursdays used to be the start of my bingeing weekend - I donlt work Fridays so 'deserved' a few (a lot) However, stuck to san pelligrino and hot chocolate all evening and feel sooo much better. dd8 has been away all week on holiday with her best friend and is back today - we've really missed her but she's had a wonderful time. So, todays plan is to get ds tidying his room <hollow laugh> and stop mooching around pretending to be Karl Pilkington all day (ds not me...) while I do a massive clean of the house. Hoping to get a proper run in at some point and generally start the weekend. Love your comments powellct especially the bit about drinking to please everyone else and then having them berate you the next day. Much as dh seems to get my problem, he still kind of thinks I'll be 'ok with a few' but then witnesses the devastation, only to say the next morning 'you need to drink slowly...' Not having a go at him at all, but he's a social drinker who still struggles with me a bit (a lot!!). Anyway, on with day 5. Stay strong everyone.. xx

lonnika Fri 01-Nov-13 09:03:42

Day 4 here - am I welcome to join. stopped for months - then been having the 'odd' one for the past 5 weeks. Now decided to stop completely again smile

Right. Have made it through the posts. You are all BRILLIANT. This WILL pass! Promise.

I just wanted to jump in about all the different programmes and AA in particular, as that's the one I'm using. I know they all have their pros and cons, but I wanted to say a bit about 'Stinking Thinking'.

I first started AA last year, and I was so guilty of that. Grandiosity - higher powers were only for people who couldn't manage their lives without some fictitious God. I was cleverer than that, no? And powerlessness - well, I was a fighter, brave.

Lip service - I went to 3/4 meetings a week. But only when I was happy. And only shared 'isn't life brilliant now I'm sober' stories. I didn't lie, but I would omit the truth eg had a relapse. Or 17.

Corner cutting. I forced myself to go to meetings when I was poorly or tired, but the more insidious excuses are to do with family ie it's more important to stay home and be there for my DCs, isn't that why I got sober?

All of this left me very vulnerable and when the first piece of shit hit the fan - DS dropping out of Uni - I resorted very quickly to my usual crutch. Just for one evening. But then picked up a month later. Then 3 weeks sobriety. Then relapse. And so on. Fast forward to me in A&E 6 months after first picking up again, and then 28 days in the Priory. Thank bloody God.

I'm not sure it matters what programme you use as long as you fully commit to it, DO WHAT THE PEOPLE THERE TELL YOU TO DO (especially the 'winners'), and remain constantly vigilant for any instances of grandiosity, lip service and corner cutting.

For me, AA is now a completely different beast. The 'cliches' peddled make so much sense now. I actually feel that sense of fellowship now, because I know everyone, and care about them, and vice versa. Doing service and having a commitment really helps. I prioritise meetings over family because, without the former, I won't have the latter. I have fully accepted my powerlessness. It's not just that I can't drink, but that I can't NOT drink. With that quiet acceptance comes release from all the guilt and shame. The fact I was drinking doesn't mean I loved my family any less. I was, and am, ill.

And I have come to believe in a higher power. Not one that can part the red sea. But I just started off admitting that the Universe minus stinkingbishop was greater than stinkingbishop, and that millions of people in AA have got well...and from that it's moved on to my DGF, who was a very, very good man, whose DNA is in me, and therefore I have the potential for goodness, just as all humanity does. It seems to work smile.

Anyway, this is already far too long. But for those of you struggling...I think my main message is that you don't have to. If you accept your powerlessness, then everything suddenly becomes quiet and 'easy' and peaceful. You can't fight it, so let other people do that for you. It's a bloody relief, it really is.

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 09:05:59

I think social drinkers will always struggle to understand mr. I was in a relationship a few years ago with someone and we had those same conversations, why don't you just take it easy? Why do you always take it so far? Etc. it was baffling for both of us as neither of us at that point could understand why I just couldn't do those things. But I definitely couldn't.

Day 5 - FANTASTIC! I still get a kick out of waking up feeling well, I spent literally years trudging through my life feeling like death warmed up.

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 09:07:19

MrMeanour, very impressed with your running. Have you always done it, or is it something you started from zero? I have just finally had my pelvis fixed by an osteo (I hope) after years of spd. I am considering running but I am not a natural - the only time I have ever done it was in 2008 when I had to couch to 5k by the book to get anywhere at all. Any advice?

I am in the office today. I usually work from home on Fridays, but not today. I am realising only now that this is a massive potential trigger - THAT FRIDAY FEELING. OK, now I have spotted that I know what to do.

And the weekend coming. parents staying. Oh my goodness I need a sentence. Can't think of one. Will need to think of one today.

Nice to hear from you all. Have a good day

Sorcha1966 Fri 01-Nov-13 09:09:21

Hi lonnika very welcome :-)

Mr WELL DONE, !!! seriously, breaking habit, drinking on a Thursday evening - is really good. Feel pleased and proud, Enjoy your run - I use to run and hope to get back to it soon - Its hard to run when you drink alot and I loved it.

Today I am going out for lunch with DH. I plan to tell him about my decision not to drink. I have written it all down, all the fear and shame and horrors.. in case I bottle out ...

toast what kind of sentence? To explain why you're not drinking? Are you going to ask them not to either?

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 09:13:33

Hi Lonnika - x-posted

I think lots of people are heading for their first weekend. Also lots of people (me!) are always going to find weekends potential danger points. Anyone want to talk about plans and strategies?
For me:

have lots of fizzy water ready chilled, and some limes
develop a casual sentence that I can use to brush away questions from my parents about drinking
Come up with an excuse to go to bed early, pretend to have a nasty cold if necessary, give myself permission to just go upstairs, get into bed - and post here probably
Get some nice food in
take it a tiny bit at a time and don't project and don't catastrophise

anyone else want to say?

TrinSnowPastaMelonity Fri 01-Nov-13 09:14:55

Please dont dis the brave babes

I am one of them
I'm 15 months sober but it took me a long time to make the decision

lonnika Fri 01-Nov-13 09:19:31

Think of the good things about sober evenings - for me it is being able to watch films to the end without falling asleep at nine.

I would never dis the brave babes smile

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 09:23:15

I really need to reiterate I, and SR, have no issues with any other recovery method. I just choose SR because I like it, and it works for me.
I want to support people on here, I don't (and won't) get into debate about which method is better. Take bits from whichever one you want, discard the bits that don't work - just get better ;-)

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 09:27:01

Trin
15 months - well done - hat off to you.

I am not "dis"ing anyone by deciding to go somewhere else and do something differently. Please don't come on here and use loaded words like that - this is a different thread for different people who need different things.

The most prominent poster on all the BB threads, who starts them all, and is a de facto "leader", is a moderate drinker. That absolutely does not work for me.
Nor does the very fluffy dynamic, which I get has arisen in a spirit of caring for the vulnerable, and I know some people love it there, and I am glad anyone who needs help is getting what they need.

I wish them all the very best but I need and want a different dynamic, which is allowed.

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 09:28:27

Sorry to be clear - I have nothing against moderate drinkers! I admire them, especially if they arrived at it from an "immoderate" place. But holding out the hope to myself that I can be one, one day, will probably land me in hospital or worse

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 09:28:45

I don't think anyone was asking for a debate powellct? Or saying one method was better than another. I wasn't certainly, was just giving my own perspective on what's worked for me and I got the impression that's what sb was doing too.

I don't think anyone was dissing brave babes either, just saying it didn't 'fit' for them.

There's room for us at all.

Lovedayisthename Fri 01-Nov-13 09:34:48

Disrespecting the Babes? I've not seen any of it. Courses for horses, and this particular horse prefers the option of achieving and maintaining abstinence (actually it's more than just a preference, to me it's an evidence-based necessity) - which is what this thread is about, rather than the Bus.
Room for all, no need to create a division.

BrokenEggshells Fri 01-Nov-13 09:42:00

Big pat on the back to you justlikeheaven. I am surrounded by heavy drinkers too, although I haven't had the courage to put myself into a situation with them yet. My neighbours had also invited me over yesterday. They had been drinking from Wednesday night and informed me that was them drinking until Sunday (yes one of them has a problem with alcohol). I refused and told them I was off it.

Don't know about stopping drinking but I do know when I stop smoking about a month later I get the dreaded 'quit zits' Mildred. Last time ds asked if I had chicken pox! I suppose it stands to reason you could get them as your body is working to get rid of all the toxins.

I'm reminded a bit of when you stop smoking and the way some smoking friends react to it. It's a bit similar to drinking. Maybe some drinkers don't like you stopping as it reminds them that possibly they need to address their own alcohol issues? If you're drinking, it validates it's ok for them to drink too? Or maybe I'm talking nonsense as I'm only up and haven't had my usual coffee quota yet smile

Hi lonnika

My take on it is that I wouldn't label myself other than to say I have problems moderating alcohol, but that could be the chicken way out smile I do know that I've always taken everything to excess. Back in the day I smoked dope heavily. Was in the club scene and took most of the drugs that circled around that scene and I took them to excess too. Luckily I never developed a problem and stopped very sharpish and haven't touched anything like that in years. Moderation is simply not in my nature. I have, dare I say it 'an addictive personality'

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 09:42:06

I for one am very very glad you started this thread, it is already proving a great space to get and give support based on a total abstinence basis. Softly softly never worked for me and trying to drink moderately did end in hospital visits and stays for me on a number of occasions.

So hurrah for you mildred and your having the bravery to create the space YOU needed and the generosity of spirit to share that space with the rest of us.

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 09:52:41

Thanks Enid! Thanks everyone who is posting here. I will be hanging on to you all in my head this weekend and I appreciate every single one of you who is making me feel not alone in this
thank you x

BrokenEggshells Fri 01-Nov-13 10:04:09

Sending you good vibes for the weekend Mildred. I'm also glad you started this thread

MrMeanour Fri 01-Nov-13 10:06:41

I started running in april - from never havng run in my life - started the C25K programme, but after two runs, buggered up my knee really badly. Got cross, sorted it out, got some proper trainers and started again in June. I didn't quite finish the programme but now just sort of 'free-run' . I can do around 4k in half an hur but usually do 3 - 3.5. It is amazing and I am really hooked. To be honest, I kept at it initially to stop me smoking (which has worked) and now I will use it to do the same with the drink. Nothing worse than trying to run when you feel woolly and sick and yukky!
I hope we don;t get into a fight wth the babes. I had some brilliant help from there in the past but now I know that i can't do moderate and don't want to, so this is ideal for me.

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 10:13:29

Thanks, BrokenEggshells.
Thanks MrMeanour that is inspiring!
I don't want to fight with the babes either. And there is no need to at all

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 10:14:08

I've started the c25k twice mr and never got very far. I need to try again but it's so COLD now I just can't face it, plus I'm back on the fags sad

BrokenEggshells Fri 01-Nov-13 10:22:00

No there is no need as somebody said 'horses for courses'. I've posted myself on the BB thread in the past and they are a lovely group of people just it doesn't work for me. Very easy for me to say one bottle at the weekend then before I know it it's four or five nights a week again.

I would love to be able to run but I have dodgy knees/ dodgy joints full stop. I was doing pilates for a while to try and build up my core muscles after having dd but they changed the class to a time I couldn't do. Need to start doing something and give up the fags as heart problems run through my family.

Sorcha1966 Fri 01-Nov-13 10:25:55

This thread is a lifeline for me as I inch my way through very early days of sobriety

I really really want to do it. This is partly because I am scared of what will happen if I do not, and partly because I am so tired of the way I feel all the time now.

Trin; many many congratulations on 15 months sober - that's a great achievement. I have seen no 'Dissing' of the BB threads. Just that for some people, and I think I am one, total abstinence is the only way it will work. And reading about people relapsing / moderating their drinking only offers ME personally more reasons NOT to take the decision to stop.

Eggs well done for surviving last night without drinking !

Mildred - i like your 'survival' plan. I will make something like that for myself

stinkingbishop - how you were sounds like my ex. he 'went' to AA and NA, but paid 'lip service' to the whole thing. He still does as is is smoking weed all the time..

This morning I spoke at length to DH about my alcohol issues and what I have decided to do. He was amazingly supportive and loving and pledged all his support to me. He admitted to having been more worried about my drinking than he has previously said. He asked me where I thought I would like to be in 6 months. I said I have no clue because I cant even look past lunchtime. I think he understood that, but I don't think he really understands like I do, that I have no off switch.... Anyway it feels good to have his love and support. We agreed that I should prioritise my sobriety - so if I don't feel like going out/seeing people/need to leave early I should just say....

Again, I'm sorry I have so little support to offer others. I am thinking of you. I'm so grateful to those of you who have been sober for a while and can 'give back' - I hope to be one of those soon...

Sorcha

BrokenEggshells Fri 01-Nov-13 10:32:09

Your dh sounds amazing Sorcha. I am glad he was able to be more upfront with you about what he thinks about your drinking and you have his full support.

It's a bright new day for us all. Have a good one.

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 10:33:17

"He asked me where I thought I would like to be in 6 months. I said I have no clue because I cant even look past lunchtime."

Oh that made me chuckle - but only because I've been there.....
11:00 on the dot I used to start, and just drink until I was a mess on the sofa.

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 10:37:37

Sorcha by sharing where you're at and the action your taking you are giving back.

sorcha one of the (many) things that really helped at the Priory was a lecture (just like being back at Uni!) from one of the psychiatrists about the latest theories on the neurology of addiction. Our brains are different. There is a genetic predisposition. Fact. That's not activated in everyone, but a combination of learnt behaviour, environment, what happens in our lives, an inability to deal with emotions beyond bottling them up...it gets switched on. There are two main problems:

1. We have a faulty 'D3 receptor'. That is the off switch in civilians. That's why once we pop, we can't stop.

2. Over time, we have f*cked our dopamine circuit. The happy hormone. Because we've been artificially stimulating it with alcohol/drugs, our brains stop producing it naturally, and so we're reliant on the substance just to feel normal, let alone happy. The issue is that circuit is, for some reason, the most important circuit in the brain. It's the pleasure/reward one. It's hard killing that mammoth but boy is it tasty. It even trumps our desire to protect our family (SO WE ARE NOT BAD MOTHERS!!! IT WAS OUR BRAINS!!!) and to stay alive (so that's why we were poisoning ourselves).

The good news is it DOES mend itself in sobriety. In fact, within a year or so (depending how long you've been abusing it) the circuit looks exactly the same as in a non-alcoholic.

But that's why we can never drink again. Because that pathway has been carved. And as soon as we put some booze in, our brains go 'aha! I remember that! when I used to have that stimulus, this is what I did...'

I hope I've remembered that all correctly wink.

I found this all really helpful for explaining to other people ie DP and DS, and also putting my own mind at rest, because the thought that I didn't love my DCs enough to put the drink down was a bloody good slice of masochism to drink more on...

The other thing (from AA) that has helped them is the explanation about it being a combination of a physical allergy (one sip, and it sets up a physiological craving) and a mental obsession. And that alcoholism has been defined as a chronic and fatal disease by the WHO since the 1950s. It's not an issue of willpower or morality. We are not bad people; we're just sick. But unlike someone who receives a terminal diagnosis, we CAN be in permanent remission, if we submit to the 'treatment' of whatever AA/SR etc programme it is that works for us. And, just as with chemo/dialysis, it would really help if they could be of practical and emotional help as we undergo that treatment.

HumOlive Fri 01-Nov-13 10:55:19

Good morning everyone. I have lurked on the brave BBB Bus and whilst it is the thread for some, it's not for me.
Unluckily for me I have quite a serious problem with alcohol. I want to give and receive support focused on that.
Without sounding miserable, I'm not so keen to discuss the day to day ins and outs of my life.
Suffice to say I am a mother of young children. I have a partner.
Enid, he also fails to see why I can't drink "normally" whilst also encouraging me to just have one or two to be sociable.
I want to believe him that that is actually possible. I am pretty sure it isn't.
To be brutally honest moderate drinking holds no allure for me.
That's pretty sad isn't it? hmm

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 11:01:16

HumOlive not necessarily sad. Lots of people don't drink, not because they are problem drinkers, but because they don't want to. I work with a very charming, jolly lady who is the life and soul of the party and doesn't touch a drop. She is not interested in drinking and never has been. I don't think we will hear much from people like that on here as they don't need a support group to stay away from alcohol, but they exist, and not being interested in moderate social drinking need not be sad.

Sorry to hear that your dp doesn't get it.

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 11:02:17

I drank to get drunk, I never wanted to just have one or two, I couldn't see the point in that. I always knew I'd rather have nothing than have 1 or 2 then have to stop - that was torture. I generally drank till it was finished or I passed out whichever came first.

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 11:05:58

btw I am one of those people, but with pudding. I don't like pudding. I don't like it when people try to make me eat it because they assume I am refusing because I want to be thinner. I just don't have a sweet tooth. Salt tooth, yes; fat tooth, a world of yes; sweet tooth, not so much. This is not sad. I am not sad because I don't eat pudding. I am trying to think of it this way.

HumOlive Fri 01-Nov-13 11:06:46

Totally identify with that. Having just one or two drinks is torture for me. It ignites the urge to get drunk but leads nowhere.
I'd also rather not bother than have one.
Classic problem drinker?

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 11:38:12

The way I see it us social drinkers can have a drink AND a life, the way it is for me is I can have a drink OR a life. Today I'm choosing to live smile

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 11:38:49

Is not us! None of us sound like social drinkers!

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 11:41:26

Stinkingbishop - I'm so glad you posted that, it's bang on (except I thought it was D2). Its been suggested that 10% of problem drinkers can go back to moderation. That means 90% can't. Not good odds.

CJCregg Fri 01-Nov-13 12:00:43

'I generally drank till it was finished or I passed out whichever came first.'

That is exactly, exactly how I was grin. I used to despise social drinkers - WTF was wrong with them? hmm

Now I quite envy them. I'd love to be able to do that. Enjoy a glass of wine for what it is, and then stop. I can remember how good the first drink tastes, but unfortunately there's a whole load after that that I can't remember, because after that first one it all got a bit ... hairy, to say the least grin.

Much, much happier to be out of its clutches now.

By the way, I would like to say that I have huge respect for Mouse and the intentions behind the Brave Babes threads. But I am too extreme to be a moderate drinker so that's never going to be an option for me.

HumOlive Fri 01-Nov-13 12:10:54

I'm very jealous of social drinkers. After that first drink I'm always chasing another and another to keep the high, happy, relaxed feeling going. Inevitably I overdo it and go wayyy wayyy past that point and descend into being drunk, slurring, being argumentative, falling asleep or more accurately passing out.
I don't even enjoy the taste of alcohol that much!!!
I'd love to appreciate a nice glass of wine (maximum 3) every now and again but my off switch is seriously fucked.
So it's possible for only 10% of problem drinkers. I would suspect that 10% did at sometime in their drinking history drink purely for the taste.

jellytots1916 Fri 01-Nov-13 12:22:51

Hi everyone,

I'd like to join please? I am new to Mumsnet and have been watching this thread and would love to get involved. I think we all need the support wherever it comes from. Personally, for me, when I got sober it was the relief that I was no longer on my own. I thought that I was the only mad woman who drank all the time and that I would be destined to drink myself to death as I could not see how to stop.

Thankfully its not like that today!!

To anyone thats struggling I would say that it is hard in the beginning but its so worth it and if I can (and I was a very hopeless alcoholic) then anyone can,

lots love, xx

youretoastmildred Fri 01-Nov-13 12:48:59

Hi Jellytots. welcome. Have you been sober for a long time?

I have just had a flashback to a pang of envy I had in about 1995 when I was first at work; a bunch of people were going to the pub on a sunny Friday evening; one of my friends didn't want to come because she was in the middle of a painting and wanted to go home and finish it. I was so jealous of her.... security. I didn't actually dare be on my own on a sunny Friday evening. I was exhausted with booze and socialising and couldn't see how to get out of it.
I can be her, now! I can be a calm person getting on with something I enjoy.

BrokenEggshells Fri 01-Nov-13 13:10:28

I drank to get drunk, I never wanted to just have one or two, I couldn't see the point in that. I always knew I'd rather have nothing than have 1 or 2 then have to stop - that was torture.

So much this!! One of the reasons I would never had even a glass of wine during pregnancies. I couldn't see the point if I couldn't get slaughtered. Or having a glass of wine with friends at lunch. I knew they would probably go home and have a cup of tea, me I picked up a bottle on the way home. It's like once I had a taste of it, there was no stopping me until I hit - and passed - my limit.

HumOlive Fri 01-Nov-13 13:16:56

Welcome jellytots.
Would love to hear more about you.
I never know how bad it has to get to hit rock bottom and I would class myself as a "hopeless alcoholic".

My drinking pattern is like a flow chart with some seriously low dips, straight lines and highs. Mostly dips and straight lines tbh.
I have had the darkest, most hopeless days where I've drank as soon as the kids were taken to school or even before I took them to school. Deeply shameful.sad
I have a lot more days (the majority) where I am a normal "mum" and drink doesn't even enter my head. This can be for weeks.
Bottom line is I am scared my drinking could one day rob me of everything good in my life. I am sometimes walking a very close line.

powellct Fri 01-Nov-13 13:42:15

Hey, Olive - are you seeking any help anywhere else? Because its reasonable to assume it will start to rob you of things.
I still miss my 1st ex, 19 years on. Thanks booze. Or more properly, well done me..Not.

Enidcoleslaw Fri 01-Nov-13 13:44:18

My experience of rock bottom is that there wasn't one defined rock bottom as I relapsed a few times and discovered that things could always get worse. The final rock bottom is of course, death.

It was explained to me in rehab that you can think of it as being on a train track - once you realise you've lost control of your drinking and you're on that track you can get off as soon as you want - you don't have to stay on till the terminus (death again! Sorry to be gloomy but I've been to a number of funerals, that's the reality). Realising that you're an alcoholic or a problem drinker or whatever you're most comfortable saying BEFORE you've lost too much is a gift. You can take action now rather than waiting for things to get worse. Living in the uncertainty of what the next disaster would be (and there always was a next one) was like living in a constant fog of impending doom for me, waiting for the axe to fall. And all the while, each bad thing that happened made me feel a little bit worse about myself and a little more frightened. I don't live like that now and it is so much more relaxing.

If alcohol is Mohammed Ali and it keeps beating me then I don't fight anymore - I just don't get in the ring.